Tips to Conserve Water - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

06.24.02

Tips to Conserve Water

If you're torn between having a gorgeous garden and lush lawn and the need to
conserve water, help is here.  
 
It's important to realize that during the summer people's water consumption practically doubles as they try to keep their lawns healthy and water their gardens.
 
So what's the trick? 
 
      The trick is to mulch like crazy.  
 
What does mulch do for me? 
 
      Well actually when we mulch, we're helping fight off weeds which compete
with our plants for moisture. Most important of all, we're actually conserving
soil moisture, so when you're watering or when it rains, that moisture stays in
the soil.  
 
And doesn't evaporate out.
 
      Exactly right.    
 
What about watering lawns? 
 
      People don't really need to water their lawns. During a period of drought, it's fine to let a lawn go dormant, and then it will green up again as soon as cool weather or rain returns.  
 
What if I want it green all the time? 
 
      Okay, if you really want to the trick is you need 2 things. One, you need
a sprinkler. It is impossible to water a lawn by hand, so you need a sprinkler.
And you need a tuna fish can.  
 
Why? 
 
      Well a tuna fish can will actually measure exactly one inch of water
which is the amount that you want to put down on your lawn.  
 
So when the tuna can is full, I'm done watering?
      you've put down the right amount of water and you're done.
      We want to have a shut off  nozzle on our hose,not just an open hose, so we're not wasting water as we move from garden area to garden area.
 
We're not wasting it on the sidewalk or the driveway? 
 
      Perfectly right. And another big tip for us is we only want to water in
the morning.  
 
Why? 
 
      Well if we water in the afternoon we can scald plants or the water will
evaporate very quickly. If we water at night, there are fungal diseases
that might affect the plants.  
      So only in the morning. 
A rain barrel is a great way to capture and recycle rain water. 

      We want to redirect the downspout into the rain barrel itself which can
hold anywhere from 50 to 75 gallons of water.
 
A typical rain will fill this? 
 
      Oh many times over.
 
And then how do I deal with the mosquito problem?
 
      well most of the rain barrels will have lids that have a screen inserted.
Look for that, because you want to keep the mosquito out of that water.    
   Using a hose to wash down your driveway is a huge waste of water.  
You're wasting    about 400 gallons every half hour or so.   A much better trick
is to use a broom to sweep your driveway clean.   Washing the car on the driveway is a huge waste of water.  
 
Where do you want me to wash it? 
 
     If you wash it on your lawn you're not getting water going into a storm drain causing pollution, and you're getting double duty out of the water. You're actually cleaning your car and you're watering your lawn as well.
 
Am I hurting the lawn with the soap? 
 
      No you're not. And using a bucket rather than letting the hose run the
whole the time will also conserve a lot of water. When you're watering a container, never use a hose. The trick is use a watering can.    You'll use less water. You'll save time and effort

Here's a trick for watering young plants and newly planted trees.   
 
  milk jug irrigation, by punching some holes in the bottom of a milk jug, we
can let water slowly trickle out and feed the roots.

Here's a diverting trick for your downspout. Attach one of these
adjustable diverters to your downspout and direct rainwater to the
garden areas that need the water most.      

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