Gardening and Water Conservation

For some people, gardening is a way to provide families with healthy and fresh foods. For others, it is a way to grow beautiful plants in order to enjoy nature and its finest creations. In order for plants to survive, they must be given water. Overwatering plants in the garden is extremely wasteful and can be detrimental to the plants as well. Watering gardens to keep them healthy and encourage their continuous growth while conserving the planet's water source is taking responsibility for and helping conserve one of our environment's most valuable resources.

There are many different things that you can do to conserve water while maintaining a healthy garden. Start by not overwatering, as there should be no puddles or runoff when you water properly. Plants should not be drowned when watered, but instead they need to be watered around the root zone only. When watering, using a soaker hose or a sprinkler wand will allow the water to be utilized in a certain area. Regular garden hoses can sometimes allow for a lot of lost water due to mist and spray. When planting, doing so in the early fall and early spring can establish healthy root growth by summer or winter so that the plants will need less water to survive. When planning out a garden area, start by establishing the areas of sun and the areas of shade throughout the day so you may plan accordingly around the heat from the sun. For a healthy household garden, start by having a smaller grassy area so that you can reduce the amount of watering needed. When mowing, grass should be kept longer so that it doesn't dry out as quickly. Native plants will require less watering, so find out which ones are specific to your area and utilize those. There are also water conserving plants that require little to no watering at all. Watering early in the morning can help the soil to retain more water throughout the day, allowing for better growth. Using mulch in the garden reduces water loss, but can start to crust together; be sure to always break up the mulch and move it around often.

When it comes to commercial landscaping, water conservation is a must. When native plants, water conserving plants and low water shrubbery are used, less water and time can be devoted to upkeep when there is more area to cover, reducing the amount of water used and money spent. It is important to utilize hydro zoning when the landscaping or garden covers a larger area of the land. This will allow the plants that need more water to be grouped together in order to devote the most water to the area that needs it. Watering early in the morning and late in the day is a water conservation necessity for commercial gardens and landscaping as well, as is the wise use of the sun and shaded areas, too. When materials are needed for a walking area, only porous materials should be used in order to allow rain water to run through and be utilized for watering. The use of gravel, pebbles and bricks are good for allowing water to easily pass through during a good rain. In the agricultural realm, using a drip irrigation system will allow the plants to be watered naturally. This system allows roots to be watered, keeping vegetation healthy, and reduces runoff. The use of compost will improve soil, limiting the need for watering. When the soil is moist and healthy, the plant will be sustained on less water. It is necessary that farms utilize hydro zones in order to prevent wasting water. Implementing a capture system for rain water will allow larger farms to make use of the water that would otherwise just run off of buildings and other non-useful areas. These systems are set up to catch hundreds of gallons of extra water that can be used to water plants and vegetation.

Strategies that will manage water as a sustainable resource will aid the demand of human consumption. As the population grows and the uses for water multiply, the need for fresh and clean water grows. The change in climate always puts pressure on our water resources when it comes to irrigation. As a population, we can take precautions and be as mindful of our supply as possible by utilizing strategies that will help to ensure that our water supply stays bountiful.

For more information on water conservation in gardening, please refer to the following sites:

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