Summer is a wonderful time for growing many kinds of fruits and vegetables, but it’s also a season notorious for heavy water consumption. Whether you’re looking to cut down on utility costs or conserve water, there are many techniques you can use that won’t compromise your outdoor hobbies. Use these best practices to save water in your vegetable garden.
A summer rainstorm is wonderful because it waters your garden for you, but they don’t happen often enough to supply more than a small percentage of your garden’s water needs. Thankfully, you can simply collect rainwater for use in your garden by setting out a barrel or large tub—you will soon have gallons in reserve! Just be sure to check your state’s regulations before you start collecting water.
Fix Leaky Hoses
If you notice an unexplained increase in water usage on your utility bill, your garden hose may be the culprit. Water hoses develop wear and tear over time, and a leak could be the source of wasted water. Be sure to repair any broken nozzles and check the hose itself for tears.
Improve Soil Retention
Once you have water usage under control, it’s time to turn your attention to keeping that water in the soil so your plants can soak it up. One of the first things to consider if you’re losing a lot of water is changing the soil composition around your plants. Adding more organic material will help keep water from turning into runoff or sinking lower than your plants’ roots can reach.
Use Mulch and Compost
Adding a layer of mulch or compost around the base of your plants also helps to save water in your vegetable garden by keeping water in the soil longer. Both substances work to shield the soil from the sun’s heat, which evaporates water before it soaks into the ground.
Utilize Sunken Beds
Moisture on the sidewalk or pavement after watering is a sign that liquid is flowing away from your garden before it can settle into the ground near your plants. If you have a runoff problem, consider moving your garden to sunken beds so that water naturally flows into your garden rather than away from it.
Having a vegetable garden is a great way to include more fresh produce in your diet, but the amount of water it takes can be intimidating. Use these tricks to save more water in your garden.