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Water Conservation Strategies
March 17 by Anthony D'Atri

Water being the precious, invaluable resource it is should be used wisely. Aside from the clear benefits of conserving water, educating yourself on watering tendencies can lead to a healthier garden. I have compiled a list of water conservation strategies, which if used properly, will lead to more effective watering.

-Water thoroughly and infrequently. Water that gets deeps into the soil, where it is available to deep roots, will last much longer than a quick surface irrigation, which is likely to evaporate quickly.

-Arrange plants accoring to water needs. You can limit the size of the area that you have to irrigate frequently if you group perennials that are prone to die in dry periods. Perennials that are drought resistant can fill out other parts of your garden.

-Plant perennials that need reliable moisture near downspouts, on the edge of walkways or drives, and any other place that receives extra moisture in smaller rain storms.

-Direct water that runs off your roof into a rain barrel and store it for later use. The volumes you can collect may surprise you.

-Use soakers hoses or drip irrigation to conserve water and put the water right where it is needed most.

-If you must use a sprinkler to irrigate, do so in the early morning when relative humidity is highest and winds are usually calm.

-Mulch any bare soil in your perennial garden. The mulch will slow down the evaporation of moisture from the soil.

-If your garden has to compete with tree roots, grow moisture-loving perennials in pots and check them daily for water.

There are always new and more effective ways that you can do your part in conserving the precious resources of our planet. All it takes is a small act on everyone's behalf to make a big difference, so be smart and think green.