During the summer, temperatures rise and a household’s outdoor water use nearly doubles. Here are 7 things you can do to save water and money this summer while outside in your lawn and garden.
With temperatures high, water can easily evaporate during the day. Beat the heat and water your outdoor plants early in the morning. Don’t wait until the evening cools down though – foliage that stays wet overnight can lead to fungal disease problems.
Glistening leaves are pretty, but water is absorbed through the roots. Avoid applying water directly on the plant and instead water the root zone thoroughly. Depending on your garden, choose to hand water or install a drip irrigation system to water exactly where needed.
Don’t Let it Grow
Weeds and diseased or stressed plants are competing with your garden for water. Remove them. Don’t encourage new growth by pruning or planting new plants that require increased watering to get started.
Compost increases the water-holding capacity of soil. Incorporating compost when gardening can reduce the need for overall water demands while also encouraging healthy root systems. Get started with composting using these tips from NC State Extension.
Longer grass can help your lawn be more resilient to drought. The longer the blade, the more surface area there is for photosynthesis which provides the energy needed for grass to grow stronger roots.
Reuse the Water
Rainwater is free. Collect it using rain barrels attached to rooftop gutters. Running water inside can also be saved for reuse by adding a bucket to your shower and sinks. As you wait for water to warm up, collect it for your plants and outdoor garden.
Let it Go
Established trees and shrubs can thrive unless we face a drought. Take a break from watering and instead enjoy your summer and water savings.
Want more ideas to save water during the summer? Visit sustainability.ncsu.edu/campus/water/.