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Water Conservation Tips – Outdoors

  • Delay regular lawn watering in the early spring to encourage deeper rooting, grow a healthier lawn, and cut down on mowing.
  • Avoid excessive watering. Most lawns need only an inch of water per week to stay healthy. Set a shallow can on the area of lawn to be watered. When there is an inch in the can, your lawn has received an inch of water.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on the grass, if it springs back the lawn does not need to be watered.
  • Water in the evening or early in the morning to reduce evaporation and avoid burning the grass.
  • Set sprinklers carefully to avoid over-watering onto pavement, siding, driveway, etc.
  • Better yet, use a drip irrigation system that waters only where you want it, when you want it and reduces evaporation and wind loss significantly.
  • Aerate the soil in the spring and fall to help the lawn soak up runoff.
  • Cut back on the amount of fertilizer you use.
  • Plant drought tolerant grasses, plants, trees and shrubs.
  • Consider xeriscaping your yard. Xeriscaping is landscaping that uses minimal water.
    Xeriscaping Your Yard or Permiculture is the new way to go
  • Use mulch around plants to help the soil retain moisture and reduce the growth of weeds.
  • Use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks, etc. instead of a hose. Wash decks with a bucket of water and brush, broom or mop.
  • When washing vehicles, run the water only to wet and rinse. Use a container to hold the water used for washing. Wash your vehicle on the lawn so the rinse water will irrigate the soil. Move the vehicle back onto the driveway to dry so it doesn’t leave marks on the lawn.
  • Collect rain water in a barrel and use it to water your gardens.
  • Listen to the weather forecast and don’t water when it calls for rain.
  • Set the kitchen timer for 15-20 minutes when you begin to water. It will remind you when it is time to move it to another area.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn. Plant drought resistant ground cover in areas that don’t get a lot of use. See Xeriscaping Your Yard.
  • Adjust your mower to the highest setting. Leaving the grass longer allows it to shade itself, and leaves it better able to fight off heat and hold moisture.
  • Do not water on windy days. This avoids water blowing to places other than your lawn.