Choosing the right plants, supporting soil health, and proper maintenance are all keys to water-smart landscapes.
Get started with your Water-Savvy Garden today!
- Water only when needed. Overwatering is one of the most common ways for gardeners to kill their plants. You can check for soil moisture at the root level by poking your finger in, if it’s cool and damp, leave it for another day.
- Water at the Right Time. When you water can have a big impact on how much moisture is available to your plants. Watering in the morning gives plants time to absorb the moisture before the heat of day and minimizes the risk of disease caused water remaining on foliage of the plants.
- Water the root zone not the plant. If watering by hand, aim the flow of water at the base of the plants. If using an irrigation system, check the system to ensure it is working properly. A deep watering of the plant is better for root growth than short, frequent waterings.
- Select Pots with Care. Pots made out of materials such as metal, heat up very quickly, increasing moisture loss. Clay pots are highly porous and suck moisture from the potting soil into the pot, but can also have benefits for plants. Plastic or glazed pots are best for keeping moisture in the soil.
- Add Organic Matter. Soils that are rich in organic matter absorb water more easily. By adding compost or manures to your soils, soils can hang onto the moisture for longer.
- Mulch Regularly. Mulching over soil will decrease moisture evaporation. Materials such as landscape fabric, pebbles, stones, or bark can slow the loss of moisture. Organic matter such as compost will help retain soil moisture as well as feed the plants as they grow. Mulch should be applied at least two inches thick to function properly.
- Get Rid of Weeds. Weeds compete with garden plants for soil moisture. If you remove the weeds, you can help to free up moisture for the plants you want to grow. Take the time to dig out the roots of weeds to ensure they won’t regrow.