You don’t have to fly halfway across the world with an international environmental organization to save the planet. You can start right in your own backyard. What can you do to play your part? Eco-friendly landscape options are exactly what you’re looking for. Along with hiring a pro who has experience in sustainable, eco-conscious designs you can keep up the ‘good for the planet’ practices as your garden grows. With a few simple steps you can save water, save materials, save energy and help the Earth grow greener. How? Check out these tips for choosing and maintaining eco-friendly landscaping by conserving water.
Of the 320 gallons of water that the average American family uses in a day, 30% goes to outdoor uses, according to the Environmental protection Agency (EPA). If that 30% doesn’t seem like a lot, consider the fact that as a whole Americans use 9 billion gallons of water per day for landscape irrigation. Yes, you read that correctly – that’s 9 billion, with a “b.”
Choosing drought-resistant plants and grasses is one way to cut down on this water usage. Keep in mind, there isn’t just one type or species of drought-resistant or drought-tolerant plant. There are a variety of plants that hold up well to not-so-much water. These include trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and even annuals. For example, wax begonias and spider plants tend to use less water than other annuals. These are easy picks to add a decorative flare to your outdoor space, without costing you in water use. Keep in mind, drought-resistant or drought-tolerant doesn’t equal “needs no water.” These plants still require water — just less than other types of greenery.
It’s the heat of the summer and your beautifully landscaped yard is starting to turn brown. You’re trying to save water, but your conservation efforts have almost destroyed everything you planted. Don’t let this happen to your yard. Keep watering – wisely.
Those wide stone pavers that create a path through your lawn don’t need water. Neither does your concrete patio space or your wooden deck. Watering these often may break down, warp or damage the surfaces over time. Not only are you wasting precious water on a non-green space, but you’re also causing potential problems that may result in having to replace mortar, pavers or wood sooner than you’d expect.
Along with watching where you water, always place sprinklers carefully. If the sprinkler is only half-watering your lawn, but is also half-watering your deck, you’re throwing away water. Likewise, leaving a sprinkler on (even if it’s in a completely grassy area) until the ground is muddy is also wasting water.
Time of Day
It’s noon, and the sun is out. It’s shining bright, heating things up. If you water right now what do you think will happen? Most likely the water on your plants will quickly evaporate, leaving them dry and in need of more moisture. Instead of watering when the sun is warmest and brightest, opt for an early morning or evening schedule.
As you water make sure that you pick times when the winds aren’t whipping. Watering on a windy day may spread the stream out, landing drops in your neighbor’s yard, on your house or on your non-green spaces. If it’s possible, stick to calm wind times/times of day.
Along with your turf, plants, shrubs and trees, you also had an irrigation system installed. Making sure that all sprinkler heads, hoses and other parts of a permanent or movable (such as a sprinkler you set up or a garden hose) system are in good working order is key to saving water. Leaks will cost you, and you may not even realize it.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly yard design, call Estate Landscape at 530-546-2042 for a consultation.