“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett penned those words in “The Secret Garden” circa 1910 to describe spring, the season when just about everything in the garden is blooming. But none of spring’s wonders happen without water! Saving water and utilizing it better will do a lot to help Long Island’s sole source aquifer, as well as result in a more successful garden. Here are a few tips to observe.
- Check all outside hose and connections against leaks and winter’s ravages.
- Planting your garden to start the season? Start off right. There are many beautiful groundcovers that require less watering including lavender, daylilies, forget-me-nots, aloes, marigolds, and zinnias.
- Avoid wasting water by installing a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle on each garden hose to avoid water waste.
- When sprinkling your grass and flower or vegetable beds, try to avoid watering the driveways and sidewalks.
- Water retention in your garden is enhanced by compost, not to mention a wealth of nutrients. Start a compost pile and add it to your garden. Mix in some along wood chips or peat moss and your water retention will be boosted.
- A slow-drip irrigation system will help avoid over-watering, and also save money on your water bill.
- Watering lawns and gardens at the most opportune times conserves our precious resource. Water generally evaporates most rapidly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Restrict watering to before or after those times and you’ll likely use less.
- Most people overwater lawns. Keeping the length of your lawn approximately 2 inches long. This will help reduce evaporation and require less water.
- Cycle watering in areas where runoff occurs, especially on slopes or compacted dry soils.
- Hate raking? When you’re finished mowing, leave the grass clippings on the lawn. This will boost water retention and help grass grow thicker.