Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Planning And Planting To Conserve Water

Whether you garden in a dry region or one with typically adequate rainfall, it is always a good idea to think about water conservation and to plan your landscape accordingly. Three steps should top your list:

1. Have your soil tested. Soil tests can reveal a lot that you may not know. Your local garden center or nearby Cooperative Extension Service can help you. By suggesting how you may improve your soil, nutrient uptake by plants may be enhanced and water conserved.

2. Locate your water source. Will you be relying on a community water supply or your own well for irrigation? There may be ways to obtain water in other ways. Rain barrels can help you harvest and store water coming off your roof. Rain gardens catch run-off and prevent its loss. It might even be possible to take advantage of water dripping from your air conditioning unit! No, I am not kidding.

3. Put "the right plant in the right place." Walk around your landscape and map areas that are wet, dry, shady and sunny. Take note of sun exposure during different times of day. Typically, high areas or spots in your landscape will be dry; low-lying areas will tend to be moist. Select plants that have requirements appropriate to those sites. By planting sun-loving, drought-tolerant plants together, and by planting moisture-loving plants in wet areas you will avoid watering unnecessarily or under-watering.

Be creative! Think of all the ways you can save water, time, money and energy.

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