Simple Ways to Save Water, Money and Your Landscaping this Summer

(BPT)—With many states facing drought this summer, homeowners
across the country will be looking for ways to save their landscaping while
conserving water at the same time. Even if you're not in a drought-affected
area, it pays to keep conservation in mind when it comes to watering outdoors.
Using less water is good for the environment and your

Fortunately, maximizing the efficiency of your watering efforts
and taking steps to conserve water outdoors can help trim your water bill this
summer, even if you live in a severe drought area, such as in the western
regions of the country. Here are simple ways to conserve water, save money and
preserve your garden, lawn and landscaping this

Efficient, effective

Traditional watering methods for lawns, gardens and
flower beds waste a lot of water through run-off, over-saturation and
evaporation. Rather than spraying water over plants, use a method that delivers
the right amount of water where it will do the most good - the roots of

Drip irrigation systems can help you water more effectively.
These systems deliver water as close as possible to plant roots, allowing you to
achieve better results with less water used. You'll also lose less water to
run-off and evaporation. Place the system on a timer, and you can also ensure
you're watering at optimum times of the day to reduce evaporation and waste. A
starter kit with 50 linear feet of tubing - ample enough to handle most gardens
and planting beds - costs less than $1 per foot.

Water lawns, gardens and
flower beds either early in the morning or as evening approaches to ensure you
don't lose moisture to the hot sun. And if a day is windy, hold off watering
lawns altogether as the breeze could leave you watering the sidewalk or
driveway, rather than your grass.

Reuse, recycle and

Even during a drought, some rain and condensation will
occur. Take steps to capture natural moisture. A rain barrel situated beneath a
downspout ensures you can catch run-off from your home's roof. While using
barrel water may not be practical with most irrigation systems, it's a great
option for watering container gardens or even indoor plants. You can also use
household water, such as water left over from boiling vegetables or pasta, to
water potted plants. Just be sure to let the water cool completely before using

You can help plants retain more moisture by placing organic mulch
around the roots. The mulch will also help keep down weeds that would compete
with plants for much-needed moisture. Depending on where you live and the type
of mulch you choose, you can buy a bag of mulch for just a few

Finally, adjusting the type and location of plants is a great
way to grow a drought-resistant garden or landscaping bed. Check with your local
agricultural extension or search online for naturally drought-resistant species
that do well in your area. By planting these hardier varieties, you can help
keep your environment green and growing through a long, dry summer - and avoid
the money drain of high water bills.




Reprinted with
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