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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.