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7 Ways to Reduce Water Usage While Gardening

Take water, you will flourish. We must do our part in limiting water usage when it comes to planting trees in our backyard. Try these seven ways to reduce water use through a variety of water catchment systems and smart planting efforts.

Ways to reduce water use in the garden

In our current environmental crisis, we are all trying to do a little more. From encouraging biodiversity to helping local wildlife, it’s all the little changes that have the power to make big changes.

Reducing your city’s water usage is another step toward practicing sustainable, regenerative gardening.

For more than 25 years, I have lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, a city known for its gray skies and frequent rainy days. During this time, I have seen huge changes in water conservation, with reserves not being sufficient to meet the city’s needs during the summer months.

With wildfires raging every summer, our role in limiting city water use is more important than ever.

Today, I’m sharing 7 ways to reduce water usage with storage hacks that work for any size yard or garden.

Stephanie with watering can
Hand watering requires more attention than most irrigation systems.

Principles of efficient water use

Before we get started, I thought it might be useful to review the basics of what we’re trying to achieve. I outline these ideas in my book, regenerative gardenAs a foundation for efficient water use.

  • step 1: Capture and store rainwater for garden irrigation.
  • step 2: Recycle this water as often as possible.
  • step 3: Know your local water budget and stay within it. Never use more than your shower.
Ways to reduce urban water use
Even places with known rainfall must collect and store rainfall for future use.

7 ways to reduce water use in your city

To reduce your city’s water usage, you’ll need Diversify your efforts. A combination of fishing, storage, recycling, and smart planting can help reduce your city’s water usage in a big way.

These are some strategies to get you started.

1. Get rid of thirsty lawn

Lawns actually use excessive amounts of water. While they have become the norm in most communities, there are plenty of lawn options that use much less water.

If you don’t need your lawn, replace it with a low-maintenance ground cover like micro clover or native, drought-tolerant grass species. Many seed companies have a eco-lawn option Which you can try.

I’ve been refurbishing the lawn at my new home with a new alternative lawn mix. Check it out below.

2. Plant native and drought-tolerant plants

Xeriscape principles, or conserving water through landscaping, go beyond the lawn.

The plants you choose to include in your garden can majorly impact your city’s water usage.

Choose plants that are native to your area, as they can survive on natural rainfall with little or no additional water. Choosing drought-tolerant plants will also help you during the summer months when rainfall is reduced.

Drought tolerant plants are one of the best ways to reduce water usage
Sedum and lavender are both great drought-tolerant plants.

3. Capture and store rainwater

One of the basic principles of sustainable water use is Collecting and storing rainfall for the dry months.

Rain barrels with overflow pipes are an effective way to capture rainfall directly into your garden. Barrels can be made from plastic, metal, or wooden drums – all food-safe materials.

An average rain barrel can hold 50 gallons of rainwater, Enough to water 80 square feet garden.

rain barrel water collection system
You can set up drip irrigation directly from your rain barrel for easy, low-consumption watering.

4. Redirect drain spouts

Are there plants that like extra water? You can redirect your drain spouts to water your garden directlyGive your plants the extra water they need without interfering with the city water supply.

Note that depending on the roofing material, not all roof runoff is recommended for our gardens. Roofs made of non-perforated metal are ideal, while untreated wood shingle roofs are also acceptable.

Avoid roof shedding with asphalt, rubber and galvanized zinc roofs.

Rain gardens are an excellent way to reduce water usage
Solid, non-porous roofs work best for water storage.

5. Create a rain garden

Designing a rain garden sounds complicated, but it is surprisingly low-maintenance and simple in concept. These gardens are designed to filter and release stormwater runoff, retaining water in the soil and creeks.

Rain gardens use moisture-loving plants that act as biofilters to purify water, as well as drought-tolerant plants with deep roots.

These gardens range from simple to elaborate, redirecting natural water sources through drain spouts, gravel pools and an overflow area filled with rocks.

6. Use hail water catchment system

Self-watering planters are an effective way to save city water usage as well as your time.

Oalas is one of my favorite self-watering systems; They have been used for thousands of years to provide slow irrigation and deep root irrigation.

This ancient watering practice teaches plants to reach down and find this water source, limiting the need for additional watering.

You can also connect your Ola to a rain barrel so water can be drained when needed.

hail catchment system
You can install rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling systems directly towards the ollas.

7. Make a wicking bed

Do you want to take self-watering to the next level? A wicking bed is essentially a giant self-watering container. It may look like a classic raised bed, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.

These beds store water beneath the soil, dramatically reducing the need for supplemental water.

The reservoir is built with an impermeable barrier to hold water, gravel to store water, and drainage pipes to drain water; It can be filled manually, by rainfall, or through overflow spouts.

During the hottest summer months, your bed will only need a weekly top-up, with less manual care during the rest of the year.

Raised Gardening Bed with Nasturtium
Use recycled materials to make your own wicking bed.

FAQs about Reducing Urban Water Use

Do you have more questions about reducing your city’s water usage? These are the questions I get the most. If I don’t answer your question here, please leave it for me in the comments below.

How can I reduce my city’s water usage in a small yard?

It’s easy to make grand plans for water conservation when you have acres of space to work with. But when you’re dealing with a small city yard, you may feel more limited.

The good news is that all of these water-reduction strategies are designed to work in any space, including scale options for any yard.

A single rain barrel with redirected drain spouts is small space-friendly, and can make a big difference in your water usage.

Planting lawn alternatives and native or drought-tolerant plants is another useful solution, which is possible in any size garden.

What are the best drought-tolerant plants for my garden?

I recommend choosing plants that are native to your area; They use the least amount of water because they are equipped to survive in your specific area.

That said, there are plenty of drought-tolerant plants that will make good additions to your garden. Some of my favorites include agave, asters, columbine, delphinium, echinacea, lavender, phlox, sedum, statice, sunflowers, yarrow, and zinnias. Get the full list in this post.

Stephanie Rose Watering Garden

More Useful Tips on Water Use


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