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GARDEN TALK with DOUG - Doing the Right Thing

In my blog last week I touched briefly on the subject of water conservation. This week I want to expand on this very important topic. Now is the time for all of us to apply water conservation gardening methods – not when we are forced by water restrictions later this summer.
            My goal is simple. I challenge every reader of this blog to think about their own gardens and landscape and what they can do differently now to conserve water use.
            Did you know that only 3% of the total amount of water on Earth is fresh…and 2/3 of that is frozen. Thus only 1% of all water on Earth is usable for drinking, food preparation, gardening, and other daily chores.
            It only makes sense that, as our population grows, we each have a little less water for personal use. It’s not surprising that we have experienced water restrictions the past few years. We can blame Mother Nature and others for these restrictions but we are not innocent when it comes to wasting water. It just may be time to implement some water saving landscape trends and water saving tips to our lawn and garden.
            Water infrequently but deeply and thoroughly. This will encourage deeper rooting and greater tolerance to dry spells.
            One helpful water saving Eco-landscape trend is to reduce our lawn area with a mixtures of trees, shrubs, and flowers that require less water maintenance. Maintaining a green, lush lawn through the summer requires a large use of water.
            Water early in the day especially as the weather warms to reduce evaporation loss. Set your irrigation timer to run early in the morning and never during the heat of the day. Also, install water sensors to your irrigation system so as not to run after, or during, a good soaking rain.
            Another Eco-landscape trend is to reduce the use of concrete and asphalt for patios and walkways. Concrete and asphalt holds heat that leads to faster drying of surrounding lawns and planting beds. Try replacing some of these areas with natural mulch.
            Mulch soil surfaces. Mulching cuts down on water lass due to evaporation. A 2” layer of mulch or compost is recommended. Apply mulches to shrubs, trees, annuals, and even containers.
            I left my favorite Eco-landscape trend for last. This trend I have a real personal interest. Let’s start using more native plants with our landscaping. Native plants tend to be more drought tolerant, as they are adapted to our weather cycle. Native plants are labeled as “water wise” plants because they need less water to survive.
            Use a drip irrigation, a soaker hose, gator bags, or other water conservation water systems in your gardens. Slow drip and deep root watering systems can save up to 60% of all water used in garden care.
            Applying just one of these landscape and water saving trends in our own landscape will allow us to use our precious water resources more efficiently, a benefit that we will appreciate for years to come.
            Installing rain barrels to our downspouts and capturing runoff water from our roof is a very popular water conservation trend.
Posted: 4/2/2013 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
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