A lush, landscaped yard is a mark of pride for many homeowners. Whether they choose to enclose it within a six-foot privacy fence or leave it open to show off their hard work, nursing grass and plants through the hottest days of the year is one of the major summer tasks homeowners face.
With so much attention on water conservation these days, and with many state or local governments placing restrictions on lawn watering, maintaining a green lawn (and not feeling guilty about it) has become increasingly difficult. Here are some Earth Day tips to help you keep your landscape green and thriving all summer:
- Lay down some mulch. Three to five inches of mulch around plants helps hold in the moisture, particularly when it comes to native plants. Mulching is one of the easiest ways to conserve water.
- Aerate your soil. Aerating in April can help your soil retain more moisture throughout the summer.
- Use compost. By incorporating composted leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps or grass clippings a foot or more into your soil, you can enhance its ability to retain moisture.
- Cluster high-maintenance plants together. Grouping the plants that need lots of moisture into one section of your yard will help you make more efficient use of your water.
- Add shade to your garden. A little shade can help protect plants from the hot sun, keeping them from drying out as quickly. You can do this by building a vine-covered pergola or arbor. Reserve the sunny spots of your yard for drought-hardy plants.
- Consider drip irrigation. A drip irrigation system or soaker hose delivers water right to the roots of your plants, where it’s most needed, preventing water loss due to evaporation. Drip irrigation can save 30-70 percent of the water used by most sprinkler systems.
- Utilize a rain barrel. Now is the perfect time to start catching some spring rain, which you can conserve for use later in the season.
By putting a little extra thought and planning into your landscape, you can save both water and money this growing season.