Simply put, water-wise gardening or landscaping is designing a garden so that it utilizes nature in the most effective way possible while requiring as little use as possible from the local water supply. A water-wise garden will be designed in such a way as to make use of rainfall, use plants that are the most suited to the area, and will have the soil prepared in such as way as to make maximum use of the water that it receives.
One of the easiest things you can do to minimize the water your landscape requires is reduce the amount of lawn or turf that is utilized. Turf takes a lot of water to maintain; other ground covers use much less, and paths of rock or gravel use none at all. You don’t have to go without a lawn all together, but be smart about where you plant it and what kind of grass you grow.
Before you plant new plants in your garden beds, analyze your soil. Soil that is too sandy won’t hold water for very long, and you’ll be watering more often. Amend your soil with organic compost; this will make the soil “heavier” and it will hold water much more efficiently. The longer the soil holds water, the less you will lose to evaporation and run-off. If you can’t easily amend the soil, you can always mulch over top of it, and the materials in the mulch will leech into the soil over time; in addition, the mulch will help hold water into the soil by preventing evaporation.
Speaking of mulch, a good three-inch layer of natural mulch in all your planting areas will do wonders to lower water consumption in your landscaping. In addition to keeping water from evaporating from the surface of the soil, the mulch will keep the temperature near the roots of the plants at a more constant level, and will eventually decompose into the soil and add valuable nutrients.
When you chose your plants, choose varieties and species that don’t need as much water, and that are suited to the planting zone in which you live. Trying to force a plant from a tropical zone to live in a semi-arid place will only end up causing you to pull the hose out more often. Remember that plants in containers outside will often need watering more often than plants potted inside or plants in the ground, so you may want to limit the number of containers that you use.
Finally, water sensibly when you do water. Use a drip-hose connected to a rain barrel; the rain barrel will provide water that doesn’t need to come from the local municipal supply, and the drip hose will deliver the water slowly and directly to the soil where it’s needed, without splashing it through the air and exposing it to more evaporation.
Water-wise gardening can provide you with a beautiful, eco and wallet-friendly landscape. The time it takes to plan will be well rewarded.
About the Author – Becki Andrus has all the information you need about healthy eating habits. Visit her website and find out how you can implement easy, small steps to improve your health and have more energy: http://EverydayHealthGirl.com