When summertime rolls around in the South Dakota region, you never know what you’re going to get. Bountiful rain and flooding of the likes seen in the summer of 2011? Or the drought-like conditions that baked the soil and drank from the reservoirs only one year later? It’s hard to tell what the incoming summer might bring, and South Dakota gardeners can only hope for the best…well, hold on—“hope” isn’t the only thing separating your idyllically abundant garden from a dried out wasteland. Consider the following home garden tips for DIY water conservation…
Water Conservation Facts
• Fact: Water conservation is lacking in this country. The average American uses 140-170 gallons of water per day.
• Fact: Landscaping, lawn care, and gardening are responsible for about 50% of the water residents of the state of California use at home. Showers account for another 18%, while toilets use approximately 20%.
• Fact: Water conservation research indicates that watering your grass and trees more heavily and less frequently saves water and builds stronger roots.
• Fact: One inch of precipitation will distribute nearly 30 tons of water over a 60 foot x 180 foot patch of land.
Home Garden Tips that Save H2O
We all know that regular watering is crucial for the success of a garden—but did you know that how you apply and conserve that H2O is just as important. In light of the above water conservation facts we’ve touched upon, here are some home garden tips for keeping your plant life quenched, even in dry conditions:
• TIP: Get a proper hose nozzle, and not just any nozzle will do.
• TIP: Don’t over-water. Be sure soil is moist, while keeping in mind that over-watering is just as detrimental as under-watering. Inexperienced conservationists will apply too much water, while the overzealous others apply too little. Find the good happy-medium to ensure adequate amounts of water is being distributed to the garden.
• TIP: home garden success requires adequate soil permeation. In other words: don’t over-crowd mulch. Mulch is great for keeping the base of plants cool, as well as holding moisture. However, a layer that is too thick prevents moisture from soaking into the soil and relinquishes moisture through evaporation.
• TIP: You should always try to water in the morning. Morning temperatures tend to be cooler rather than later in the day, when the sun becomes a scorcher. Making this a “first thing” habit ensures water providence throughout the day….it’s kind of like breakfast for us humans!
• TIP: Keep curb appeal in mind. If you’re trying to conserve water with a lawn that calls for major irrigation, consider focusing your watering efforts on the front lawn. Your backyard does little for curb appeal: save your water for your plants and your neighbors!
• TIP: home garden produce needs washing, but don’t let a constant stream of water from your faucet do the work! Use a bowl of water to get those veggies clean.
• TIP: Use a drip irrigation system in gardens, flower beds and landscapes to greatly augment water conservation. Jolly Lane Greenhouse sells a drip system that works very well. It’s also very consumer-friendly when it comes to installation.
For more interesting water conservation facts and helpful home garden tips, stop by your local Jolly Lane Greenhouse and seek the advice of our experts. We’re in the plant business, because we know a thing or two about how the whole process works— and we’re happy to share our knowledge with fellow green thumbs!