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Save Money Watering Your Lawn and Garden

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  • daveo
    Re: Save Money Watering Your Lawn and Garden

    Great tips for the upcoming summer months. I've found for a simpel rain gauge, take a funnel just big enough to cover the mouth of the bottle you're using and place it in the yard. This way, very little gets evaporated and you still get an accurate reading.

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  • jeffrey
    started a topic Save Money Watering Your Lawn and Garden

    Save Money Watering Your Lawn and Garden

    Water use for most homes increases immensely during the summer months. A large amount of the summer peak water demand is directly related to lawn and garden watering. Many people either turn on their watering system or place out sprinklers and hoses without much thought to the best way to water their yards. This causes the water to be applied inefficiently and results in over-watering, evaporation or run-off . By taking a bit of time to make sure you're using water wisely in your yard, you can cut summer water bills by up to 50%.

    The best way to save water is to simply not water when you don't need to. While this seems obvious, many people place their watering systems on automatic timers and thus water on the same days each week for the same amount of time no matter what Mother Nature has done. If it has rained during the week, then you don't need to water as much as when it doesn't rain.

    In order to know how much you need to water each week, you should place a water gauge container in your yard. The water gauge doesn't need to be anything fancy. An empty jar or can will work just fine, but you do want to make sure that the mouth of the container is the same size as the rest of the container. You also want to make sure it's in a non covered shaded area - not covered so that the true amount of rain is recorded and shaded so that the sun doesn't evaporate it to give a false reading. This will allow you to see how much rain has fallen over the week and will let you determine how much to water that week (a good default for lawns is about 1 inch of water a week). Once you determined the correct amount of water needed, then simply empty the container and leave it out to see how much rain you receive the next week.

    When you do water, you want to do it in the early morning before the day warms up, preferably before 8:00 AM. If you water in the heat of the day a good portion of the water that was meant for the plants will end up evaporating. By watering in the early morning, you avoid much of the evaporation so that the water you use goes where it's supposed to and not up into the sky. Watering in the evening leaves excess water all night and can cause molding problems over time.

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    If at all possible, choose a day that is calm without much wind blowing to water the yard. If you water on a windy day, much of the water will be blown in the wind meaning that much of it will get wasted in areas it's not needed. By watering on a calm day, the water will go exactly where you set your sprinklers to have it land.

    It's also important to take the time to adjust up your sprinkler system so that it waters your lawn and plants and not your driveway, walkways and patios. Each drop that lands on hard surfaces that don't need to be watered is water wasted. If there is a small corner that can only be reached by also watering hard surfaces, consider watering that area by hand.

    Another way to save on water is to collect rain water. This can be accomplished by placing barrels underneath the drains of roof gutters. Just be sure that the barrels are covered with insect screens so that you don't actually breed insects for your yard. This water will allow you to water specific plants and trees that may need a little extra water rather than over-watering your whole yard just to accommodate those few plants.

    When you do water, make sure that the sprinklers or hoses water as close to the ground as possible. The part of the plant that needs the water is the roots, not all the leaves on top. An investment in a soaker hose (which you lay down right next to the plant's roots) will allow you to get to the root of the plants rather than forcing the water to make its way through all the leaves of the plant to where it's needed.

    Not only will all these tips save water and money, they'll also help you grow a healthier yard and garden. This in return will save you even more money since you won't have to replace plants as often.