Summer Water Conservation

Whether you are starting a new garden or perking up an existing one, incorporate these water-wise tips into your gardening routine to ensure your plants get the best nourishment with the least amount of water.
1. Do Your Homework: Sunlight exposure, existing foliage, and usable space should all be considered during the plant selection process. Remember, you want to choose plants that will not only thrive in our local Georgia climate, but will also flourish in your yard. Then, once your plants have been selected, create “watering zones” in your garden by grouping plants based upon the amount of water they need.
2. Feed the Soil: Add a covering of mulch to slow evaporation and preserve your soil’s moisture. And to improve your garden’s overall ability to retain moisture, routinely nourish the soil with organic matter like compost. Once your plants get a foothold, fertilize in moderation to avoid over-stimulating plant growth, and with it, water demand.
3. Eliminate the Competition: Take regular measures to eliminate and discourage weed growth. Not only are weeds unsightly, they also steal valuable nutrients from your plants and greenery. (Bonus: In addition to preserving soil moisture, mulch can also suppress water-stealing weeds!)
4. Tune Up Irrigation: Always water when evaporation will be minimal (early mornings or late evenings), and avoid using inefficient watering practices and devices. If you are feeling extra ambitious, you can upgrade to an irrigation system with smart controllers, drip emitters, and moisture sensors.
5. Avoid Water Runoff: When watering, be mindful to apply water in pace with soil absorption. If using any hardscape elements, select permeable materials like gravel or porous pavers to allow water to pass into the soil. To further prevent runoff and erosion, dig trenches to direct water or terraces on slopes and hills.

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