Conserving Water this Spring & Summer
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from Kristine Munroe-Mahoney. Kristine is the Community Manager at KeenForGreen.com. She is passionate about going green along with her son, Isaac, and her husband, Matt. She lives outside of Boston.
While I try hard to conserve water year round, it can sometimes be difficult during the warmer months. Between watering the garden and filling up that kiddie pool, it’s easy to end up using more water than I intend.
Over the past few years, I’ve worked on a list to help my family conserve water in the spring and summer. Here’s what we do:
- We setup a rain harvesting system in our backyard. There are so many benefits to collecting rain – it saves money and water! You can buy a system or make one inexpensively.
- We reuse the kiddie pool water for our garden. My son loves to help us with that! He takes his little watering can and helps water our plants.
- Take water usage into consideration when planning our garden. We live in New England, so we get rain year-round. However, in parts of the country where the summers can be very dry, try not to plant too many items that require a lot of watering.
- Use sprinklers sparingly. If your sprinklers are on an automatic timer system, make sure they don’t go on while it is raining. It drives me crazy when I see a sprinkler running when it rains! We have a very small yard, so we seldom use a sprinkler and prefer our hose and a watering can.
- Use mulch! Mulch is great because it captures moisture and keeps your soil cooler. Make sure your soil is nice and moist before putting the mulch down. Plus, I love the smell of fresh mulch. It’s one of my favorite springtime smells!
- We water our garden in the evening. The ideal time of day to water your garden is actually dawn, but we are not early birds so we tend to water late in the day.
- Keep a bucket in the bathroom to collect water while the shower water is warming up. This is particularly useful for regions that don’t get much rain in the spring and summer. We also do this in the winter and use the water for our toilet.
- Give the garden a good soak. According to a 2006 article in the Guardian, it’s better to water your garden less frequently but more heavily. Otherwise, “the water does not penetrate deep into the ground and encourages plants to develop roots near the soil’s surface.”
As I finish typing this post, it’s dreary, cold, and raining outside where I live. At least our rain barrel is filling up…and the warmer weather should be right around the corner!
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