Jose Eduardo Deboni
In the last article of the series, we're going to take a look at some simple but uncommon ways to save water outdoors.
1. Drought-resistance is the first thing!
Whether you're planting a new lawn or over-seeding an existing lawn, it's always a good idea to use drought-resistant grasses. Additionally, there are many shrubs and plants that don't need as much water as other species. Native plants are also better, as they use less water and are more resistant to local plant disease. Have you ever heard of xeriscaping? If not, you'll be interested in our upcoming article on this matter. Stay tuned!
Photo by Natala Menezes
2. Surround your trees and plants with a layer of mulch
Mulch has two main effects: it slows the evaporation of moisture and prevents weed growth. And it looks good as well! Add 5-10 centimetres of organic material to increase the soil's ability to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the drip-line of each plant — forming a slight depression will minimize water runoff. As for the lawn, letting the grass grow a little bit taller (8-10cm) helps to keep water in the soil as well.
Photo by Jacob
3. Water the garden, not the pavement
Position your sprinklers carefully so the water finds its target and avoid watering on windy days. You should also water your lawn only when it's necessary. To find out whether your lawn needs watering, step on the grass. If it springs back after you move away, watering is not necessary. If it stays flat, go ahead and give it something to drink. Remember that overwatering can be harmful to many plants. Also, water the garden early in the morning instead of at dusk — it helps prevent the growth of unwanted fungus.
Daniel Horacio Agostini
4. Don't use the hose while washing your car outdoors
Use a bucket of soapy water instead. Limit usage of the hose only to rinsing. This simple measure can save more than 500 litres of water. To make the use of water more efficient, use a spray nozzle for rinsing. However, the best option is to go for a waterless car washing system — many brands offer this solution these days. Also, use a broom to clean your driveway and sidewalk instead of a hose. It doesn't take that much time, but it saves a lot of water.
5. Check your equipment for leaks regularly
Even a little hole in your hose or leaks in your sprinkler connections can cause litres of water to be wasted every day. Prevent it by examining them on a regular basis. Don't forget to clean your sprinklers' heads from time to time to ensure their maximum effectiveness.