Water is the most important and precious commodity today. Unfortunately, this is also one commodity, which is not available in as much abundance as it was available in the earlier days. The harsh summers, droughts and the unrelenting use of water to meet the daily needs of everyone – all these factors have led to its scarcity in certain regions. Under these circumstances, it is quite obvious that water conservation is one of the most prominent concerns today. When you consider the amount of water that is used outdoors, using water in a smart way is definitely the need of the hour. Water-smart landscaping is all about how you can use water outdoors in a more efficient manner, without incurring any wastage, and yet having the most beautifully landscaped garden. Here are some tips on how you can incorporate water-smart landscaping to suit your needs while not compromising on the beauty of your outdoors:
· Choose your plants wisely: One of the most important ways in which you can actually save water from being overused outdoors is to choose your plants wisely. Planning your landscaping well in advance is one small way to get started. This would mean studying the climatic conditions of your town or community and choosing plants that are native to that region. Additionally, you could also opt for plants or shrubs that require less water to ensure that you save more while still being able to have a beautifully landscaped outdoor. As mentioned earlier, planning is the key to successful water-smart landscaping. This means having a vision on how you want your landscape to look, once it is finished. This will help you choose wisely.
· Grouping plants with similar water needs: Another way to a water-smart landscape is to put plants with similar water needs together or close to each other. This will create special hydrozones that will allow you to water the area according to its specific needs, instead of watering each plant separately. Make sure that you separate the turf from the shrubs as both have different watering needs.
· Limiting or planning well your turf area: Turf area requires the maximum water and by limiting its expanse or choosing well in terms of what kind of turf you require, you can actually save water usage outdoors. When designing the turf area in your outdoors, make sure that you use it only where it is absolutely necessary, like a play area, and avoid where it is not required for any practical purpose.
· Healthy soils: When planning your water-smart landscape, make sure that you always use healthy soil, which is rich in nutrients, and has the capability of retaining water. Using mulch or any other organic fertilizer will help make the soil rich and healthy, apart from facilitating it to retain more water, which in turn would mean that you have to water these areas less frequently. Mulch is perfect for helping the soil retain water by reducing the extent of evaporation. It also helps in maintaining the right temperature of the soil while also reducing the extent of erosion. Air circulation increases when you add mulch, which again helps in extensive water retention.
· Watering habits and irrigation: Finally, when you are planning to help reduce water consumption outdoors, it is important to change your watering habits. Make sure that you water your plants when it is cooler to enable more retention. Moreover, make use of irrigation techniques that will use water more efficiently and ensure healthy plants.
Water-smart landscaping is not really difficult if you use the above tips. Though it is hard work, at least in the beginning, the best part is that it is totally worth your effort.