Thursday, June 12, 2014

Water Smart This Summer!

We are only days away from the official start of summer which means you have probably been spending lots of time in your yard and garden making everything look healthy and green. It is difficult to keep up this manicured look in times of drought, however. Here are some tips to help you keep your garden green during the hot, dry summer months. 

1. Water at night or early in the morning. Watering when the sun is barely out can reduce evaporation by 30% or more, depending on where you live. This means more water will actually get used by your plants. 

2. Avoid watering when it's windy. Strong winds can evaporate water or blow it away from the plants you are trying to water. 
3. Don't over water. An established lawn only needs a little less than one inch of water per week to stay healthy. Over watering can cause pesticides and fertilizers to runoff into water bodies and of course wastes water resources. Also be sure not to water when you're already getting a lot of rain. Many sprinklers have a rain pause button that will allow you to postpone your watering for a day or more. Other clocks will allow you to shut the entire system off when it's raining. 
4. Plant native vegetation. Native Plants thrive in the local climate and therefore usually need less water to stay healthy. 
Photo Credit: The Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter

5. Use rain barrels. Rain barrels allow you to capture the naturally occurring rain and store it for use in your yard. You can hook many systems right up to your sprinklers! Visit to learn how to make your own rain barrel. 
Photo Credit: City of Lincoln Watershed Management Division. Rain Barrel painted by: Heather Bennett, professional fiber artist and City of Lincoln graphic artist. 
6. Finally, don't water the pavement. You can waste a lot of water by not having your sprinkler heads set up properly. Make sure your sprinkler heads and hoses put water only where it's really needed.


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