It’s the season of sunshine and warm air. The New England landscape has a pretty mature green wherever you look! It’s the time of year when gardens are in bloom and lawns are at the peak of perfection. A pretty home landscape requires a lot of water this time of year, and that can mean a high-cost to you, but it can also be bad for the community, especially if there isn’t enough rain to sustain it. Keeping a healthy lawn while practicing sustainable water habits is possible. Here are some things to keep in mind.
You’re using more water than you think
According to the EPA, 29 billion gallons of water are used every day by households across America. About 9 billion gallons goes toward outdoor water us, mainly through irrigation (automatic sprinklers). As you can imagine, this number goes up significantly during the summer, where the average family can see water use spike from 320 gallons per day to 1000!
Right Time, Right Way
If you have an automated system (or even if you are watering your lawn or garden yourself), there is a right time to do it that ensures there isn’t any waste. Watering your garden in the early morning assures that water absorbs into the ground before it can evaporate in the peak sunlight. Early evening (when there is still sunshine, but at a lower angle) can achieve this as well. If you have an automated system on a timer, consider getting an EPA certified irrigation controller that determines the best time to water your lawn based on weather data and the conditions of your lawn.
The way that you mow your grass can also determine how much water may be wasted when you use water outside. For example, though it may be tempting to keep your grass as short as possible, having grass that is taller is better for water use. Taller grass has deeper root systems, which allows it to absorb more water. This also crowds out weeds, by the way! Height recommendations are different for each type of grass, so do a little research for what’s best for your yard.
Finally, the physical makeup of your lawn’s landscape can make a difference for how water moves and absorbs in your yard. Slopes can mean runoff, making water go somewhere it’s not intended to be instead of absorbing into the soil.
Mind Your Equipment
When was the last time you had your automatic system inspected by a pro? According to the EPA, one broken sprinkler head can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water over a 6-month watering season. Drips, leaks, breaks… fixing these can add up to a significant savings cost, not to mention a conservation of precious water.
There are plenty of ways to create an appealing and welcoming home landscape that is also water-friendly. Adding buffer-zones with native plants or shrubbery can add beautiful sophistication to your area while also preventing runoff on a slope. Mulching flower beds can add colorful appeal while also crowding out weeds and preventing water evaporation. Building a rain garden provides a place for water to go and absorb while adding habitat to local wildlife and insects. There are plenty of possibilities that can make for fantastic landscaping for your home!
Summer time is about good weather, good company, and enjoying the outdoors as much as you do the indoors. Spend a little time in your yard this weekend and think about the small changes you can make that could lead to significant water savings. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by saving a bit of money on your water bill while also helping your greater community save water! Don’t forget to pick up a water barrel to help, too!
Want to learn more about how to save on other important resources you use in and around your home? Wonder how solar energy can fit into your greening lifestyle? Give us a call. We’d be delighted to tell you more about how we can help you save and conserve today!
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