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Friday, June 28, 2013

Don't Waste... and that includes Water!

This week we had some strange weather (rain in June?!), and I was reminded of a pet peeve - sprinklers running when it is raining outside.    This coupled with all of the front lawns I see being over-watered each day, while I'm out walking our dog, made me decide it was time to talk about water.  There are houses that produce a stream of water going into the drain each and every morning.  There is no reason to water your lawn that much!  We need to respect natural resources, and water is a natural resource. 

A few years ago, we decided to participate in Roseville's "Cash for Grass" Program.  They paid us $1.00 per square foot to pull out our grass and high flow sprinklers, and put in a water efficient landscaping and irrigation.   We selected low water native plants.  If you need inspiration, check out this Sunset Magazine article. We love it because it requires far less maintenance than a lawn, we have plenty of honey bees and hummingbirds visiting, and our yard smells like lavender.  This ultimately saved us not only water, but time and money!

Even if you are not ready to pull out your grass just yet, there are other things you can do to be more water efficient:

1.  Understand the appropriate settings for your landscape.  If your watering program is creating a river of water across the sidewalk and down the sewer drain, you need to adjust your settings.  If there is a perpetually wet and mucky spot on the sidewalk in front of your house, something is wrong, and it needs to be investigated.  If you need advice for proper landscape settings, you can look here.

2.  Watch your sprinklers in each area while they are on, on a regular basis.  Sprinkler heads and low flow adjusters do break and need to be replaced at times.

3.  Water early in the morning to avoid evaporation. 

4.  Did you build that worm bin, I encouraged you to make some time back?  Compost helps soil hold water, and makes your watering more efficient.  Plus it is packed full of nutrients which help your plants grow.  

5. Wood chips made a great cover for mulch. Mulch regulates the temperature of the ground, it helps conserve moisture, and as a bonus, it helps prevent weeds.   

You can buy compost and wood chips from the  

I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about how much water your household uses, and commit to making some simple changes that will save you water, money AND help our environment!