A beautiful garden goes beyond beautifying your home; it gives you an amazing space for bonding family time, activities and events, it helps improve the value of your property and investment, and in many ways than one, it helps you protect the environment in your own little way. However, maintaining a garden doesn’t come easy, it requires a lot of effort and can be draining on your budget and pocket. Usually, employing the right strategy is the key, but also not overlooking little tips that are often overlooked. Are you looking for ways to make your garden beautiful, help the environment,and save money? Then read on…
Check Hoses for Leaks
“A good garden hose will last you a long time, but even a small leak can waste a substantial amount of dollars’ worth of water every month.”
Checking to see that everything is sealed and turning off properly is important. Also, even if you have a spray nozzle on your hose, it is a good idea to turn off the water faucet when you’re done using it. Few hose connecters are completely airtight, and even 100 drops a day can add up pretty fast. The pressure the water puts on the hose connecter can eventfully cause it to become loose or snap off as well, leading to more leaks (and a need for a new hose connector).
Be Sure Sprinklers are Aiming at Greenery, Not Pavement
Watering the sidewalk isn’t going to do you, your water bill, your plants, the sidewalks, or any unsuspecting passersby any good at all. Too many times I have strolled by someone’s front lawn, only to see a sprinkler completely missing its target. If you need to, get a professional to fix your sprinkler system. It’s worth the money, considering the amount of cash you’ll be saving not only on water, but on plants that will no longer be at risk of death by dehydration. Also, a note: Large amounts of weight on sprinklers can damage them. Cars, bicycles, and lawnmowers coming into direct contact with sprinklers can be harmful and damaging.
Speaking of Sprinklers…
Sprinklers shoot mist high into the air. This seem like a great idea, but unfortunately, much of the mist never gets a chance to make it to the plants. It instead ends up being evaporated and carried away into the atmosphere, where it will, at some point, help form a cloud. Instead of paying for even more cloud formation, try using an irrigation drip on plants that require a lot of water in one concentrated area. Sprinklers are great for grassy areas and areas that need spread out hydration among many close together, shallow-rooted plants.
And Speaking of Grass…
There are many equally beautiful alternatives to a large, green lawn. If you live in an area where grass doesn’t typically grow, try a different kind of landscape. For instance,desertscapes, which make use of small gravel, boulders, cacti, and other low-water plants, can put an interesting spin on a traditional garden. If you do insist on grass, though, try planting grasses that require less water than others, such as [amazon_link id=”B004D33V3I” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]Bermuda[/amazon_link] or buffalo grass.
Keep Grass Blades Long
This shades the blades’ roots and gives the water a better chance of seeping into the ground before it is evaporated. A very short grass cut, on the other hand, invites dry air to rush straight to the water molecules and carry them away. Longer grass can look more elegant as well, and it’s a lot less work- you don’t have to mow it as much!
Buy Plants Native to Your Area
If you live in a naturally dry climate, plants used to being near the beach are going to need a LOT of extra water. Instead of fighting nature, try plants more suited to your own climate, whatever they may be. Chances are, your area’s yearly rainfall will be close to the amount of water the plants require. You will still need to monitor the plants and supplement irrigation as needed.
Make use of Mulch
Mulch is an inexpensive, yet highly underrated product when it comes to gardening. Spreading mulch around shrubs and bushes can be both environmentally helpful and aesthetically pleasing. The absorbency of the mulch helps slow down evaporation, so more water goes into the plants’ roots than the atmosphere. It also comes in a few different colors, requires much less water than grass, and can look a lot better than plain dirt. You can also use mulch and stepping-stones in place of concrete to create paths in the garden. This will allow rain and other water to seep into the ground and irrigate nearby vegetation. Beware of weeds, however. To keep weeds and stray plants from growing in this path, you can place a layer of newspaper below the mulch and stepping-stones.
Strategically Time Planting and Watering Schedules
Planting and watering while the sun is beating down on you will only suck the water out of already fragile plants. Planting and watering when it’s cool, however, can keep this from happening. So, add new plants to your garden in cool seasons, and water them year round after dusk or before dawn. Be sure to pay extra attention to newly planted plants to make sure they’re adjusting well.
Take Advantage of Rainy Days
When it rains, collect and store rainwater in a barrel. Use the water to irrigate your garden on dry days. If you live in a pretty rainy area, you may seldom run out of rain reserves, making paying for garden irrigation a thing of the past.
Overall, maintaining your garden will make your home stand-out, beautiful, protect your investment and the environment and give you a space for family time and activities. Maintenance could have a substantial impact on your pocket, but employing these easy tips would sure help you save a lot more than you normally should.
About the Author
Tim Sparke is a loving husband, devoted father and his love for pumps and gardening come third as a pumps specialist. He also has a passion for writing and blogs at forpumps.
Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons
As many of us are stretching our budgets, do you have any additional ways to save money on your lawn?
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