16 backyard water-saving tips
Now that the snow is finally gone, you’re probably planning your backyard summer. Gardening, flowerbeds, flower boxes, cuttings, cleaning gutters and windows, preparing and opening the pool…dozens of tasks await you, and although some inevitably require water, there are ways to save on the precious liquid!
In the garden
- Spade your garden soil often to loosen it. This will improve its ability to absorb night humidity and dew;
- Use a watering can rather than a hose if the garden is small enough: the slower flow of water will also encourage absorption by the soil;
- Wait until dusk to water to minimize the risk of evaporation.
In the flower beds
- Adding a layer of mulch to your flower beds lowers soil temperature and retains moisture from dew and watering until it can be absorbed by the soil before it evaporates;
- Install a low-pressure drip irrigation system to irrigate the base of the plants.
Around the pool
- Cover the pool with a solar blanket to reduce water loss through evaporation (in addition to keeping the water temperature at a comfortable level and preventing debris and leaves from accumulating on the surface);
- Fill the pool to within 15 centimetres of the edge, and you’ll lose less water through splashing.
To maintain your lawn
- Collect rainwater and use it to water your lawn;
- Limit watering frequency to once a week. Soak the soil and the grass will root deeper and become more robust;
- During dry spells, cut your grass to 6 or 7 centimetres (2 to 3 inches), to retain water better. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn instead of collecting them will also help the turf resist drought and act as a fertilizer;
- Install soil moisture indicators to know if your lawn needs watering;
- Program automatic sprinklers to stop when showers are forecast;
- Know when your lawn is dormant and limit watering/fertilization in July;
- Minimize the use of chemicals in the care and growth of your plants (ornamental or vegetable). These products can be toxic and always end up in groundwater, contaminating a precious resource.
Elsewhere in the courtyard
- Use a bucket of soap and water to wash the car. The hose should only be used for the final rinse, saving around 300 liters of water…per vehicle;
- Sweep your driveway instead of using the garden hose. Knowing that a hose can deliver 1,000 liters per hour, the amount of water a person drinks in 3 years, the broom is definitely the best option!