A vegetable garden can take a bite out of a hefty grocery bill. But that harvest isn’t free. Seasoned gardeners know that a big water bill can quickly soak up grocery savings.
Here are five simple tips to help you save on water for your garden. Put more green in your pocket as you pluck more leafy greens for your plate:
Get a soaker hose
Using drip irrigation or soaker hoses is a great way to direct water to plant roots and reduce evaporation. The Tennessean’s “Ms. Cheap” writes:
This slow watering of this simple but effective hose with holes can save you lots on your water bill and seems to be the best way to achieve deep watering, which is preferred over more frequent surface watering.
Water in the morning
The optimal watering time for a garden is in the early morning, when temperatures are cooler, winds are lower and there is less evaporation. Gardening Know How says:
Watering in the early morning will also make the water available to the plants throughout the day so that the plants will be able to deal better with the heat of the sun.
Rodale’s Organic Life recommends using mulch to lock in soil moisture and save on your water bill. It also helps keep weeds at bay, so it’s a win-win.
Harvest and recycle water
Using rainwater and household water from cooking to water your garden is easy and relatively cheap. To collect rainwater, you can invest in a rain barrel or a water harvesting system — or, just use a bucket. Next time you steam or boil veggies — or even pasta — save the water for your garden instead of dumping it down the drain.
Overwatering not only runs up your water bill, but it’s also a common culprit in garden failures. It’s a good idea to invest in a shutoff timer for your house or sprinkler so you don’t inadvertently leave the water on.
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