10 Expert Tips for Conserving Water in Your Garden

Conserving water is important for both the environment and the water bill. If you want to learn how to use less water and still keep your garden healthy, read on!

Person watering garden with watering can

1. Choose Plants that Don’t Need a Lot of Water

If you haven’t already planted your garden, pick plants that can survive and thrive with less water. Ask your local nursery about drought-tolerant plants that do well in your region.

2. Use Mulch

Adding a layer of mulch around your plants can help save water. Mulch can be made of wood chips, straw, or compost.

It prevents water from evaporating quickly, reduces weed growth, and keeps the soil temperature stable. This means you won’t have to water your plants as often.

3. Water Efficiently

To save water while watering your garden, use efficient watering techniques. Instead of using sprinklers that waste water through evaporation, try drip irrigation or soaker hoses.

These methods deliver water directly to the roots of the plants, minimizing waste and maximizing absorption.

4. Water at the Right Time

To avoid water loss due to evaporation, water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler outside.

Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, as most of the water will evaporate before reaching the plants’ roots. Also, avoid watering on windy days to prevent uneven distribution and further water loss.

5. Collect Rainwater

Collecting rainwater is a great way to save water and reduce your reliance on the municipal supply. Place rain barrels or cisterns under your roof’s downspouts to collect rainwater.

Rain barrel under downspout

You can then use this water to hydrate your garden during dry periods or droughts. It’s an eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.

6. Garden with Gray Water

Gray water is the gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines. Using gray water for gardening can be an excellent way to conserve water.

There are a few things to be aware of, however.

  • Choose the right plants: Gray water is slightly alkaline so it’s best suited for plants that can tolerate higher pH levels. Some good choices could include fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs, and certain types of berries.
  • Avoid contact with edibles: It’s recommended not to apply gray water directly on vegetables and fruits, especially those that are eaten raw. The best practice is to use gray water for irrigation in the root zone only.
  • Use ‘plant-friendly’ products: If you’re using gray water from your washing machine or shower, make sure the soaps and detergents you use are biodegradable and low in salts and boron, which can be harmful to plants.
  • Filter the water: Before using gray water, it should be filtered to remove any particles that could clog your irrigation system.
  • Rotate with fresh water: Occasionally irrigating with fresh water can help to flush out any accumulated salts from the gray water.

7. Group Plants with Similar Water Needs Together

When planning your garden layout, group plants that require similar amounts of water together. This way, you can avoid overwatering some plants while underwatering others.

By giving each plant the right amount of water it needs, you reduce waste and promote healthy growth.

8. Check for Leaks

Regularly inspect your irrigation system, hoses, and faucets for leaks or drips. Even a small leak can waste a lot of water over time.

Fixing leaks promptly will save water and prevent damage to your plants and equipment.

9. Use Water-Saving Tools

Take advantage of water-saving tools and technologies in your garden. Moisture sensors can measure soil moisture levels and adjust irrigation accordingly, preventing overwatering.

Smart irrigation controllers use weather data to automatically adjust watering schedules, ensuring your garden gets just the right amount of water based on environmental conditions.

10. Take Care of Your Soil

Healthy soil helps your plants use water more efficiently. Improve your soil by adding organic matter like compost or manure.

This improves soil structure and moisture retention, allowing plant roots to access water more effectively and reducing the need for frequent watering.

11. Regular Maintenance is Key

Maintaining your garden properly can help save water too. Remove weeds regularly as they compete with your plants for water resources.

Prune your plants to control their size and shape, reducing their overall water demand. Keep an eye out for signs of diseases or pests and address them promptly, as stressed plants require more water to recover.

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Last Updated:

January 25, 2024