Water is our most valuable resource, and unfortunately it is a resource that is gradually starting to diminish. Drought, overuse and contamination are leaving our water sources depleted of useful water. This is happening all over the United States, including Florida. There are some experts who predict that before long, South Florida will be entirely out of useable water and that means that South Florida will rely on North Florida’s water supply to fit their demands. The question is to whether or not North Florida will have enough water to provide the rest of the state.
For homeowners, saving water goes deeper than environmental concerns—it is a financial issue. Water bills can get pricey, especially when you start looking at the cost of watering plants and yards daily. During summer droughts the cost can get extreme. Learning how to manage your water and ways to save money while keeping your soil moist and plants happy can reduce a lot of stress on your household budget.
Here are a few strategies to help you save water at home:
Choose your plants wisely
There are some plants that won’t need as much water as others. Succulents, for example, are able to maintain water in between rain showers and don’t need to be watered so often. Choose plants that fit well in your home’s climate zone. This means finding native plants who have managed themselves in this area for a long time and who will flourish with the typical amount of rain. Also, when putting plants in the ground, look at the recommended amount of sunlight and accommodate accordingly. Putting a partial sun plant in a full sun spot will mean you need extra water to keep the plant healthy.
Organize for maximum efficiency
Hydrozoning is the practice of planting flowers and shrubs near each other that require similar amounts of water. By doing this, you can water some areas of your property more than others and save water by not overwatering plants that don’t need it. Another way you can organize your garden to help you save water is to mulch around your plants. Mulching helps retain moisture in the soil and allows plants the opportunity of lasting longer between waterings.
Create an irrigation plan
Blindly watering your yard on a strict schedule may not be the most effective way of caring for your plants, and is certainly not the best way to save water and money. Creating a smart irrigation plan means using sensors that will determine when it has rained, and when the soil is dry and plants require moisture. This form of irrigation system has been shown to reduce water consumption by up to 20 percent.
Reuse water as possible
One of the best ways to save money and water is to reuse rain water. You can do this by collecting water in a rain barrel and then using that source to water your plants. Rain barrels might be as simple as an old trash can with an open top to collect water as it falls, or you may want to develop a more high tech system that allows you to actually pump water to a hose from your collection. It is also a good idea to use gutters around your home to direct more water to your barrel. Check local jurisdiction codes before putting a rain barrel on your property.