- Step 1: Plant native shrubs, trees, and flowers that are adapted to the rainfall in your area.
- Step 2: Plant low, spreading plants such as sedum to provide living ground cover, which holds moisture in your soil.
- Step 3: Limit the amount of yard space given over to thirsty lawn, and increase the amount given to native plants or natural habitat.
- Step 4: If you use sprinklers, turn them on in early morning or after dusk rather than at midday, to reduce evaporation.
- Step 5: Adjust your sprinkler heads so the water droplets are large; fine mist evaporates more easily, so it doesn’t get to your plants’ roots.
- Step 6: Use micro or drip irrigation, a system of pipes or hoses that deliver water directly to the base of the plant. Drip irrigation is around 90% efficient, unlike regular sprinkler systems, where up to 50% of the water is wasted.
- TIP: New plants require more water for their first few growing seasons until root systems become established. After that, water less often and plants will still thrive.
- Step 7: Don’t overfeed your lawn; generally lawns only need water every 5 days, and you don’t need to water when there has been rain. Fertilize only twice a year, in spring and fall.
- Step 8: Keep your lawn healthy with less water use by leaving grass longer when you mow—up to three inches—and leaving the cut ends on top of the lawn.
- TIP: Soil with high sand or clay content may have trouble using water efficiently. Add compost to your garden beds to keep plants healthy with less water.
- Step 9: Mulch with bark, wood chips, grass clippings, or other plant material where the ground is bare, such as around trees and in flower beds. Mulching can make your soil 50% moister and controls those pesky weeds.
- FACT: Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping that conserves water through such practices as careful and creative plant choice and placement.
You Will Need
- Native plants and drought-resistant landscaping
- spreading plants to provide ground cover
- Water-efficient sprinklers
- Drip irrigation lines