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Water Conservation Tips for Gardeners

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									Water Conservation Tips for Gardeners
By: Sarah Bernheim



                                                          Gardening can be an enjoyable activity for many
                                                          individuals and their families. While gardening
                                                          can be lots of fun, a garden will require regular
                                                          watering. In most rural areas, this will not be a
                                                          problem. However, some homeowners with a
                                                          municipal water supply may face water rationing
                                                          during a drought. In these situations, it may be
                                                          against local laws and regulations to water an
                                                          outdoor garden. In some cases, a municipal
                                                          drought regulation may only allow homeowners
                                                          to water their garden once a week or during
                                                          certain hours. The following guide provides
                                                          simple tips and tricks for minimizing water use in
                                                          a garden.

Soil and Plants

Different types of plants will have different irrigation needs. It's important to research an individual
plant species to determine what watering schedule will work best. However, there are several general
rules that can minimize water use.

It's important to understand how different types of soil absorb water. A very sandy soil will drain quickly.
This can be a significant loss of water for a plant. While a clay-based soil will do a better job at absorbing
water, plant roots that remain submerged in water are subject to root rot and fungal infection. It's good
to aim for a soil mixture that can hold water for at least 30 minutes.

There's a simple way to check the consistency of soil in a garden. Dig a 1 foot deep hole with a 6 inch
diameter. Fill this hole to the brim with water. Measure the amount of time it takes for all the water to
drain out of the hole. If it drains in less than 30 minutes, more clay-based soil should be added to a
garden. A drain time longer than 30 minutes indicates that one should add additional water.

Automatic Irrigation Systems

Many types of irrigation systems can waste water. For example, most irrigation systems used by
homeowners and individuals rely on a dispersal unit. This dispersal unit will fling water in a
predetermined direction. While this can be an effective way to water a large area, many non-critical
areas will also be watered.

It's a good idea to use a drip hose during a water drought. A drip hose can be snaked along the base of
garden plants. Since water is only provided to garden plants, no water will be wasted on weeds or other
undesired plants. In addition, a drip hose is a good way to conceal that one is watering his or her garden.
Most drip hoses will use less than 10 gallons of water an hour.

Conclusion

It's important to look for ways to minimize water use during a drought. By conserving water, it's possible
to save money and promote a green environment.

								
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