August tends to be hot and dry in Crofton, Maryland, so it’s important to keep our plants watered – but to conserve water at the same time.
A Popular Mechanics article in 2011 suggested these nine water-conserving tips (with comments added by CVGC members).
- Choose the right tools – A typical garden hose and sprinkler may be the least water-efficient tools we could use. Consider using a soaker hose in your shrubbery beds and a wand that can target water directly to the flowers in your garden.
- Don’t over-water – I’ve found that watering the grass for a few hours once a week is adequate for my Crofton lawn – more in the sunny areas and less in the shady areas.
- Don’t waste water – A sprinkler that waters your driveway and sidewalks accomplishes no good, so adjust it carefully.
- Make sure the mulch doesn’t crust over – The idea of mulch is to keep moisture in the ground and around your plants, but it won’t work if your mulch dries out! Let that mulch do it’s job.
- Test for moisture in the ground – Push a screw driver into the ground; if you meet resistance, it’s time to water!
- Water in the morning – It’s usually cooler in the morning, so more water is likely to soak in to the ground. If you wait until later in the day, some of it will evaporate and you might find fungus attacking your lawn or growing in your mulch.
- Focus on the front – If you have to limit watering due to budgetary considerations (or water restrictions imposed by local government), focus on the front… or focus on preserving your shrubbery, if you prefer.
- Use cool water – Store you hose in a shady area, if possible, because water resting in a coiled hose during the summer will be very hot – and that may not be good for some of your plants.
- Water less often – As a general rule of thumb, watering for a longer period but less often will help the roots go deeper in search of water. You’ll likely use less water than if you water lightly on a daily basis.
Here’s a link to the full article: 9 Water-Conserving Tips for Summer Gardening