Growing a garden can have many benefits for the environment and local wildlife, but if you aren’t mindful of water usage, you could waste precious resources! Knowing how to water your plants eco-consciously can save you quite a bit of money on your utility bill and even cut back on your overall time spent working in the garden. Here are some ways to cut back on your water consumption while ensuring your garden plants are thoroughly hydrated.
There are plenty of garden hacks that can help you save water, but it’s also important to know how to water plants correctly. You might be watering improperly and wasting resources without even realizing it. Go through these tips and evaluate your current watering practices—taking the water-wise approach is the responsible thing to do!
If you water a little bit every day, that moisture will linger at the soil surface and quickly evaporate from the sun. When you water deeply, the soil will stay hydrated for longer, so there’s no need to get out there every day. One exception is for container plants—during the hottest summer months, you’ll likely need to water them every 1–2 days because their soil reservoir holds less water than a big garden bed.
Most garden plants require about 1 inch of water per week, though some moisture-loving plants like ferns may need more, and more drought-tolerant plants can survive with less. Be careful not to overwater to the point of waterlogging the soil! Mixing in lots of compost can help improve drainage and water retention to prevent stagnant water at the root level.
Speaking of plants with different watering requirements, it’s a good idea to plant varieties with similar needs in the same spot; this is called hydrozoning, and it’s much simpler than it sounds! Plant your drought-tolerant plants together and moisture-loving plants in a separate spot. If you mix drought-tolerant and moisture-loving varieties, you’ll waste so much more water trying to keep the soil sufficiently moist.
Grass lawns can use up a lot of water. Plants requiring minimal water are much easier to care for, and you don’t have to worry about mowing them! Native plant varieties tend to be the most drought-tolerant because they’ve naturally adapted to grow here in the wild. You can also try growing succulent ground covers like sedum and Sempervivum, which thrive in dry desert climates.
Spread mulch across the soil surface throughout your garden to block the sun from heating up the soil; this helps conserve moisture for longer, with the added benefit of weed prevention! Avoid piling up the mulch around the base of your plants, and spread it in a nice even layer.
Placing a rain barrel under the spout of your rain gutter is an effortless way to collect water for your plants! Look for one equipped with a spigot to dispense water into your watering can easily. Remember to keep it clean and thoroughly sanitize the inside after you’ve drained it.
There are so many incredible irrigation systems that make watering your plants so much easier! Some even come with moisture detectors that automatically turn on the system when water is needed. That way, it won’t turn on after heavy rain. It’s the perfect set-it-and-forget-it approach to watering plants.
Newly transplanted trees, shrubs, and perennials need lots of water during their first year to help their roots spread and get established. However, after year one, you can cut back on watering significantly!
Now that you know how to water plants like a seasoned pro, visit Primex Garden Center to see all our gorgeous garden plants for sale in Pennsylvania! From native and drought-tolerant varieties to exotic tropicals and blooming annuals, there’s no shortage of gorgeous varieties to discover.