Have you ever really stopped to think about how much water you can waste when watering your lawn or gardens? Many people simply turn on a sprinkler, leave it running a while, and then shut the water off when they see the water creating a little stream down a driveway or puddling around the plants on top of the ground. In our drought ridden country, water conservation is an important issue that must take precedence if we are to insure an adequate water supply for future generations.
Australia is dry and getting dryer due to a persistent drought. Every concerned citizen should look at ways they can personally reduce water consumption, and the amount of water used to care for the yard and gardens is a great place to start. Water is no longer a luxury that can be taken for granted.
Green Lawns On Less Water
Thousands of gallons a year can be wasted watering outdoor plantings and yards. Many homeowners really do not understand how careless watering practices can lead to unnecessary water usage. That precious commodity called water must be protected in every way possible and simply changing some watering procedures can lead to big water savings.
There are many reasons why lawn watering can lead to wasted water. One of the primary water wasters is over watering the lawn. You only need to water your lawn until the ground is wet approximately 15 to 20 cm down. That is deep enough for lawn and plant roots to access the water you are supplying. When you see pools of water on top of the soil or around plants, the water is being wasted.
Another typical way water is wasted when caring for outdoor plantings is watering when it is windy or hot. It is estimated you can lose up to 50% of your water to evaporation of sprinkler water on a windy day. As much water can be lost due to evaporation on a hot day. To prevent water waste due to evaporation, you can water in the early morning or late evening hours.
Choose Your Plantings Wisely
When you are deciding which plants or grasses to plant, it is important to keep in mind that certain varieties require less water than others. In Australia, you should try to plant native plants and drought resistant grasses. These plants are acclimated to the dry conditions typical in Australia.
When Australians plant non-native plants, the plants often require additional watering to maintain. This wastes water that could have been conserved. You can help the ground hold water also by placing mulch around them to prevent evaporation. Also, when planting grass and decorative plants, you should try to develop areas where single watering events can handle a lot of area. If you spread your plantings out, it will require a lot more water than should be necessary. You should also avoid planting grass in small areas requiring special watering care.
Other ways water is typically wasted include watering when it is not really needed and leaving sprinklers operating too long.
Installing an underground water storage tank can make it possible for you to have a steady supply of recycled rainwater for your outdoor watering needs. But even with a recycling tank, it is important to minimize water consumption for the purpose of maintaining the yard.