Not only is saving water important for the environment, but it’s also important for your peace of mind — you can save a significant amount of your water bill by tweaking your watering system.
I’ve learned a few simple methods to cut down on water usage that I’d love to share with you. You can find 3 easy-to-follow tips below.
Why use an eco-friendly watering system?
There are tons of reasons to switch to a system that saves water, some of which are more obvious than others. Firstly, saving water benefits the local and global ecosystem. All water consumption takes a toll on the environment by using a natural resource and by using additional energy to treat and transport the water to your home. Secondly, saving water while gardening reduces wastefulness by using only the water that you absolutely need. Thirdly, eco-friendly water systems help prevent disease by reducing moisture on the parts of the plant that don’t need it, like leaves. Lastly, cutting down on water use ultimately saves money. The math is simple — use less water, and your water bill will be lower.
Eco-friendly watering systems are especially useful in areas that are prone to drought. However, even in places where gardeners can rely on rainfall for part of the year, an eco-friendly watering system is a helpful fallback method to keep plants healthy at a lower environmental and financial cost.
While there are many eco-friendly watering systems to choose from, you don’t need a SWOT analysis to figure out which one is best for you. Keep it simple and choose the one that fits your garden and budget. Here are 3 of my favorite options.
Drip Irrigation Systems
The first alternative to a traditional watering system is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation systems apply water directly to the soil rather than pouring it from overhead. Though setups vary, all systems have some sort of tubing laid upon the ground by the plant roots. Holes in the tubing allow water to gradually drip into the soil, providing a steady amount of water as needed.
Drip irrigation is ideal in a lot of ways — it’s affordable, easy to set up and efficient. Drip systems are usually around 90% efficient or higher, which is significantly higher than sprinkler systems. You can customize your system to apply just the right amount of water. None of the water is wasted by blowing away in the wind or dripping off onto the pavement.
Though drip systems aren’t difficult to set up, you’ll need a few important components. For example, you need a pressure regulator to manage the flow of water and a filter to ensure that water is clean and sanitary. However, setting one up doesn’t require many complicated tools — no need to break out the chainsaw for this project.
The second system I recommend is a soaker hose system. Soaker hoses are similar to drip irrigation systems in that they both use rubber hoses, but whereas drip irrigation hoses have tiny holes, soaker hoses are porous across the entire length of the hose. Water leaks out and soaks the ground wherever the hose is placed.
Soaker hoses deliver a slow and steady supply of water directly to plant roots. This prevents water from escaping, which in turns reduces wastefulness and prevents disease.
You can set up a soaker hose system with relatively little expense. You’ll need a water filter, timer and pressure regulator in addition to the hose. You can then program the hose to deliver the right amount of water to your entire garden. Soaker hoses are best for level ground since slopes and hills can prevent the water from seeping out uniformly.
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The last eco-friendly choice is xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a style of landscaping that’s uniquely designed for areas where water is scarce. It can also be used as a way to save water in other areas. Unlike the above two methods, xeriscaping involves a wholesale change in approach to gardening. After an initial design and set-up, however, a xeriscaped garden is easy to maintain.
Xeriscaping takes place on multiple levels of the gardening process. Firstly, you should choose plants that require little water. This doesn’t necessarily mean desert plants, however. Every region has its own set of plants that require relatively less water than others, and it’s important to choose plants that will work in your zone.
Xeriscaped gardens feature a variety of types of plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. The important thing is to avoid growing water-intensive plants, like lawn grass. Many xeriscaped gardens feature an abundance of native plants.
The other component of xeriscaping is the way you organize your plants. Certain design features allow for a reduction in wastefulness. For example, plants with similar water requirements should be grouped together to avoid over-watering plants unnecessarily.
Did you enjoy this list of eco-friendly watering tips? Did you learn something useful for your own gardening practice? It’s empowering to be able to make an impact on the environment through your own gardening choices, and it makes your life easier as well. Share your ideas about these tips in the comments, and if you liked this post, make sure to share!