The landscape industry uses a lot of water features to maintain the beautiful surroundings. But with population growth and other factors making water a scarce natural resource, it’s imperative to think about conservation. Water-conserving landscaping has become not only a trend but a necessity. You want to manage water efficiently and minimize unnecessary use and evaporation. Check out the following water conservation methods to apply when designing and managing your landscape!
Practical Turf Areas
It’s hard to imagine a landscape without lawns. They not only look beautiful but also have functional benefits. Lawns can handle heavy traffic and are convenient for recreational and playing spaces.
The problem with lawns is that they are often subject to over-irrigation, which isn’t in line with water-conserving landscaping. However, high-quality turfgrass can be a wise investment. The benefits include:
- Contributing to the overall aesthetics of your landscape
- Reducing surface runoff water, which can contribute to preserving water quality
- Decreasing environmental pollutants by trapping pollen and dust
If you want to avoid over-irrigation, try to make practical turf areas. Don’t go with odd and small shapes, and irrigate them less often than other zones.
Mulch can stop water evaporation and prevent compaction and crusting of the soil. The experts indicate 10x less water will evaporate from the soil if you put mulch around shrubs and trees. It’s why mulching is the foundation of water-saving landscaping. Plants will have more water available, and mulch also contributes to reducing weed.
You can pick from organic and inorganic mulches. Organic options include nutshells, bark chips, pine needles, etc. They can improve soil fertility and structure, and you can use them to recycle yard waste. The inorganic mulches come from all other materials, such as gravel or rock. You can pick from various colors and sizes to contribute to the landscape aesthetics.
The soil is the foundation of any landscape. You can avoid many issues if you prepare the soil before placing a plant. Here are the typical soil characteristics:
- Texture Clay soil retains nutrients better but has less drainage. Sandy soils don’t retain nutrients but drain faster. You could also be dealing with balanced soil, which is often the best for water-conserving landscaping.
- Structure It describes how much the small particles clump together to form pores in the soil. Air and water can move through big pores, which can be important when considering drainage.
- Organic matter helps to decompose nutrients and boosts retention and water infiltration.
- Nutrient status Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen are only some nutrients you’ll find in the soil. While nutrients are necessary, it’s vital that there isn’t too much of them, too.
- pH range It describes how alkaline or acid the soil is. Some plants require a specific pH range to grow.
Use Native and Drought-Resistant Plants
If a plant is native to that area, it requires less water to grow and reach its potential. Bringing a shrub from another continent can look attractive, but that won’t contribute to water-saving landscaping. Those plants will need special care, which often includes more water. It’s better to pick native options as they would look equally stunning while having lower maintenance needs.
Drought-resistant plants are another option for water-conserving landscaping. You’ll find many residential and commercial facilities that go with these as the staples of their landscapes. You can work with local experts to pick the best drought-resistant options in your region.
Group Plants According to Their Water Needs
Not all plants require the same amount of water. Grouping them by their needs is among the smartest water conservation strategies. You can talk to experts about the different requirements for each plant. Designers can help to group them into sections and develop optimal watering schedules.
For example, if some plants require water several times per day, put them in one zone. But those that only require occasional supply can go to another section. It will reduce water waste and evaporation while ensuring your landscaping looks great.
Irrigate and Water Responsibly
Using spray heads and the overhead irrigation method isn’t the best method to water landscaping plants. Some water won’t get near the plant, and a portion will evaporate before the shrub can use it, especially if it’s hot outside. A water-wise landscape technique is to use of drip irrigation.
The dripping method will send water to the plant’s root. That means you deliver the water directly and ensure maximum use. The irrigation frequency will depend on natural rainfall and other factors. If you live in a dry area, you’ll need more water to save plants and ensure optimal growth. The idea is in finding balance and ensuring you don’t spend more water than necessary.
Maintaining water-efficient landscapes is an integral part of optimizing water management. If you applied previous steps, it’d take less effort for maintenance.
Here is what you need to do to ensure your landscape keeps looking great:
- Weed removal Any shrub out of place is a potential weed. Optimal control includes removing them before they set deep roots. You can use mulch, other physical barriers, and herbicides.
- Fertilization If you identify undernourished plants, consider fertilizing them. Soil testing will give you more details about the requirements.
- Managing plant growth Pinching, pruning, and dividing will ensure that your landscape looks flawless. If you remove dead branches, you’ll stimulate the tree’s growth.
- Disease and pest control Regular inspection is imperative since it’s important to identify problems as soon as they appear.