Conserve water and save money with Frugal Gardening. Maintain a healthy and green looking garden while saving water and reducing your water bill.
The garden is a home’s largest water consumer. When dealing with large amounts – even small changes sum up to big savings.
Frugal Gardening doesn’t necessarily mean a poor looking garden. Actually – it’s quite the opposite, since when it comes to water, more is sometimes less.
Here are some money saving gardening tips which will actually improve your garden’s look!
Don’t waste your money by watering the driveway, sidewalk or the street. Adjust the sprinklers to water only your lawn, or as close to it as possible.
Fix broken sprinkler heads which sprouts water unevenly, resulting in over watering of some parts while under watering other.
Watering when it is colder minimizes water evaporation, allowing more water to sip deep into the ground and reach the deeper roots.
You can also water in the late evening and get the same results.
Longer grass retains its moisture better than shorter one, and encourages the grass roots to grow deeper.
Raise your lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches (8 cm), or to its highest position.
Drip irrigation (or trickle irrigation) can save you huge amounts of water and is considered by many as one of the best water conservation products.
It works by delivering the water through very small holes in a special tubing-valve system.
Water is delivered exactly at the right spot and at a very low rate which minimizes spillage and evaporation to almost zero.
There are several manufacturers of trickle irrigation systems, each making both on the ground as well underground systems.
The over ground system is very easy to install, and can be used in small as well as large gardens.
The system is also adaptable. You can re-configure and change it very easily as your garden needs changes, or as you re-design it.
Landscape watering by means of trickle irrigation has expended worldwide and is considers to be one of the best water conservation methods. No frugal gardening is complete without it!
For further reading go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation
Bark Mulch – Shredded Tree Bark and/or Hardwood is very useful in retaining the moisture in the soil, allowing for less watering.
A perfect solution for frugal gardening, it is cheap and has many more benefits such as keeping weeds down and enriching the soil, in addition to the esthetic side.
If you haven’t aerated your lawn in a while, the upper layer of the soil becomes almost non penetrable to water, so when you water it most of the water doesn’t go deep to root level.
Instead, they just stay at the top layer and evaporate.
You end up wasting water, and getting unhealthy, bad looking lawn.
Aerating the lawn has many good benefits besides water saving, and will improve the look of your lawn dramatically. It is simple to do and doesn’t require special skills. You don’t even have to buy the equipment. Rent it instead.
Adjust the Watering Schedule
Especially if you are using an irrigation computer, make sure that you change the programming according to seasons.
If water runs off your lawn, or if your lawn grows on a slope, split the watering time into shorter periods, allowing for better water absorption.
Apply water for about 4-5 minutes, and repeat two or three times as necessary.
Don’t water your lawn on a windy day, as most of the water will be blown away, while the rest of the water will evaporate quickly and will not penetrate the soil. Delay the watering by a day or two.
Water the lawn and the plants less frequently, but for a longer period. This will encourage deep root growth.
As the soil retains deep water much better then it retains surface moisture, this will save you water as you will need less over all watering, and it will also increase your lawn and plants drought tolerance.
Also called “Hydro Zoning”, this method simply means grouping plants with the same water needs to avoid under watering some while overwatering others. It is extremely useful for frugal gardening.
Next time you need to replace a plant, flower or shrub, try choosing Low-Water-Using plants, and group them together for best results as mentioned above.
This type of landscaping is also known among the water conservation techniques as “Drought-Resistant Landscaping”, and is frequently used in frugal gardening.
If you are in dire needs of remodeling your garden, or if you decided that you can’t handle the huge water bill, consider doing a thorough job and convert your entire garden to a Low-Water Drought-Resistant garden.
Depending on the size of your garden, a Low-Water garden can save you big money on water bills, and is perfect for frugal gardening.
Grass is the most water consuming plant available. Plant more trees, bushes and flowers instead of some of the lawn to diversify and landscape your garden.
You will benefit from a better looking garden while reducing your water bill
If you don’t have one already, consider installing an irrigation controller. Irrigation computer is tailored for frugal gardening, as it will let you to time exactly the irrigation, and will enable you to water your garden at the best time of the day, even if you’re still sleeping.
The new Irrigation Systems come with rain sensors (also referred to as rain shutoff devices), which will automatically put on hold the watering plans when it is raining.
They also come with moisture sensing devices, which adjusts the irrigation according to the actual moisture in the ground, reducing the overall watering and saving you a lot of water.
Depending on your local state regulation, you can also benefit from government rebates when installing these water saving devices.
If you don’t want to invest in an irrigation computer, you can look for automatic timers that screw between the Hose and the Hose Bibb. These devices are inexpensive and do the job pretty good as well.
If you manually open and close the irrigation system, use a timer (kitchen, phone’s or any other) to remind you when to stop watering.
Skip watering your lawn on or around rainy days. If you’re using irrigation computer – learn how to program the Rain Delay.
Install a Shut-Off Nozzle or Trigger Nozzle on your hose, preferably one that can be adjusted down to a fine spray.
This way you don’t waste water by over watering, or watering the pavement as you move from one part of your garden to another.
Select a turf mix or blend that marches best your site and climate conditions. Select lawn sod according to soil, sun, zone and watering requirements.
Consult your local nursery for information on local climate and other special considerations prior to selecting soil and lawn type.
Use a sponge and a bucket instead of a hose, and save a lot of water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Use a broom or rake to clean the driveway and sidewalks.
If you must use water to clean hard to remove stains or debris use a Pressure Washer, which will get you same, if not better results using a fraction of the water a hose does.
Frugal Gardening is just one way to reduce home water bills and save money. There is much more to be done indoor to conserve water.
Check my Indoor Water Conservation Products page for more water bill slashers.