We are in the peak summer seasons, and it is hot outside. What does this mean for your backyard and gardens? It means that you have to water more frequently. Here are some tips and tricks to help you conserve water in your backyard and gardens during these hot summer months.
RAIN - By attaching a rain barrel to your downspouts or rain gutter, you can collect rainwater and use it later to water your garden/backyard. Rain barrels are a great way to help re-use and conserve water since you are re-directing that water instead of letting it flow down to the storm water drain or pool up in your backyard.
MULCH - By placing a thick layer of mulch around your plants, you can help keep the soil and plant roots moist and cool. Oregon State University states that "a 3-5 inch layer of mulch can reduce soil evaporation by 70% compared to bare soil." If you want to water less and help your plants survive these hot summer days, consider using mulch or shredded bark around your plants and garden.
SOIL - The only part of the plant the needs watering are the roots. I know it is tempting to want to water the entire plant, but keeping the leaves dry can help the plant avoid fungal diseases and sunscald. When watering, try to water down by the base of the plant. If you use Tip #2 and have mulch or shredded bark around your plants, you will want to make sure that you water directly at the base of the plant.
MOW - When mowing your lawn, you should have your mowing deck up as high as it will go - usually at 3 inches. Keeping the grass just a little bit longer helps shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation, meaning you will have to water it less. Plus, it allows the roots to grow a little deeper, which helps prevent soil erosion.
WATER - Water your plants early in the morning or later in the evening. During the middle of the day, when the sun is high in the sky, you will lose a lot of your water to evaporation. By watering early in the morning or later at night, the chances of evaporation are minor, meaning the plants have more time to soak up that water, and it will require you to do less frequent watering.
PLANTS - Native plants are already adapted to your location's climate and soil type, meaning they will have an easier time establishing than other non-native species. Once established, the native plants have deep rooting systems that allow them to be more drought-tolerant since they can access cooler, wetter soil. By having these deep rooting systems and already being adjusted to your area's climate, native plants will require less water and attention. Check out our selection of native seeds and plants to learn more about what plants work well in your area.
We hope these tips help you conserve water and help your backyards and gardens flourish this summer season!