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Waterwise Gardening Tips

10 Water Saving Tips

Research shows that Georgia and North Carolina's residents use up to 50% more water than they need to maintain healthy, beautiful gardens. Proper watering would not only conserve water but actually improve the overall health of gardens and landscapes.

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1. Water Early

Set automatic sprinklers to run in the early morning between 4am and 8 am. This reduces evaporation and will lessen the likelihood of water waste from interference from winds. It also reduces plant disease and water damage.

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2. Mulch

Placing a 3-4 inch layer of organic mulch on the soil surface around plants can save hundreds of gallons of water each year. Mulch prevents water evaporation and also stops weeds from growing

watering tips

3. Repair & Adjust Sprinklers 

Observe sprinklers as they run. Adjust them as necessary to reduce over-spray on sidewalks, roads, and patios etc. Repair damaged sprinklers immediately. Check pipes for leaks. Quick repairs and adjustments can save as much as 500 gallons each year.

watering tips

4. Water Deeper & Less Often

Your sprinkler should water every other day or every third day in the warm months. Water until just before you see runoff. This encourages water to penetrate down where roots can continue to access the water.

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5. Change Watering Times with the Seasons

Adjust automatic systems at least three times a year. The highest frequency will be July-October. Lowest will be November-March, with April-June somewhere in between. During periods of rain, turn automatic systems off.

watering tips

6. Use Trigger Sprayers when Hand-Watering

Every hose should be equipped with a trigger sprayer so water is not wasted. Use when watering your pots, garden and even your car. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.

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7. Minimize Water Loss in Pots 

Use water-retentive potting soils in all container gardens. Add soil polymers to your potting soil and planting time. Polymers store water for plants' use as the soil dries.

watering tips

8. Add Compost

Adding compost to planting beds and pots will decrease the amount water needed. Clay soils that are amended with organic matter will accept and retain water and nutrients better. Sandy soils improved with compost will have improved water absorption and retention and retain nutrients.

watering tips

9. Use Organic Fertilizers 

Organic fertilizers slowly release nutrients into the soil at a natural rate that matches plants' needs. With a slow, even feeding there is no overabundance of soft green growth that chemical fertilizers produce.

watering tips

10. Install a Smart Sprinkler Controller 

The latest technology can help reduce your water use (and your water bill) dramatically. These wireless "smart controllers" activate your automatic sprinklers via computer based on current weather data and information about the specifics of your garden. Save up to 40 gallons or more each day using a smart controller.