Typically, having greenery around the house or apartment is always a good idea-lawns and plants help to soak in excess rain, and they are so beautiful to look at this time of year. But it takes a lot of water to keep everything green! Or does it? Here are some simple tips you can follow in order to save water-you can can have that beautiful lawn and landscape without using excess water.
- Avoid using sprinklers on windy days, and during the hottest time of the day. Modern sprinklers often come with dryness probes that let it know when the soil is dry.
- NEVER ALLOW SPRINKLERS TO RUN DURING A RAIN STORM!
- Only water when it is necessary for the health of your lawn. Typically, lawns need only about 1 inch of rain water a week. A heavy rainstorm can keep your lawn going for about two weeks-and it's free!
- Raise your mower blade to at least 3 inches. Slightly longer grass creates shade for healthier root systems that soak up and retain more water.
- Use drought and heat tolerant grass for your lawn.
- Convert some mown areas to more natural spaces with trees, tall grasses, and native plants that will absorb more water and create less runoff.
- Always select native trees, plants, and shrubs for landscaping. Native plants use less water when established and are more tolerant of local pests and soil conditions. A good resource to find native plants is the NJ Native Plant Society-http://www.npsnj.org/
- Try soaker hoses and other drip methods instead of sprinklers to save 30-50% of landscape irrigation water use.
- Retain the rain-use a rain barrel to provide you with free, fresh water to use on your lawn, garden and even to wash your car! You can make one yourself or buy one at a hardware store. For more information on rain barrels, check out the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Program-http://water.rutgers.edu/Stormwater_Management/rainbarrels.html
Enacting some or all of these tips can save you money on your water bill, and reduce your impact on drinking water supplies. Remember, regardless of whether you have city or well water, if you live in South Jersey, you are likely getting your drinking water from the Kirkwood Cohansey aquifer. We need to ensure that there is enough drinking water for everyone, and making small changes such as these can have a big impact. So, get from fresh air, begin planning your dream gardens, and save our water! Happy Spring!