Water Without Wasting a Drop

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11 ways to save money on outdoor watering. The average household uses as much water outdoors as indoors, so you can make a big dent in your water bill by limiting the water used in your yard. Start with these tricks and tips.

  • A lawn measuring just 32 feet by 32 feet can require more than 600 gallons to water it 1 inch. Cut your lawn in half, and your bill will shrink accordingly. This spring, expand your garden beds by spreading mulch over the lawn and simply planting through it. Set garden paths between the beds and leave only a patch of grass. Native plants need far less water than a lawn, and once established, they can be left to fend for themselves during a dry spell.  
  • Water your lawn once a week, instead of daily. Place an open tuna can nearby, and give the grass a good, slow soaking. When an inch of water has collected in the tuna can, turn off the water.
  • Mulch trees, shrubs, and beds so they’ll lose less moisture to evaporation and won’t require as much watering.
  • Use drip irrigation around trees and shrubs.
  • Fertilize your lawn less and use slow-release fertilizers.
  • Attach a pistol-style sprayer to your hose so the water won’t run continuously.
  • Collect water from your gutters with a rain barrel and use it to water your flowers and grass.
  • Adjust your mowing height to 2 inches and leave clippings on the grass instead of bagging them. Your grass will retain more moisture and need less water.
  • Sweep your patio and driveway with a broom instead of hosing them down to clean them.
  • If you wash your car at home, don’t turn on the hose until you are ready to rinse.
  • Avoid planting grass on steep inclines that are hard to water.

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  • FC&A Staff Writer