By Barbara Brown
Dread those summer water bills? By watering correctly and making smart plant selections, you can save money on your utility bill. According to the Upper Trinity Regional Water District, “Over 50% of landscape water is wasted due to overwatering, inefficient watering practices and broken or poorly maintained irrigation systems.”
Another good reason to conserve water is to ensure that in the future, there will be enough water for our rapidly growing population. As a matter of fact, Denton and Collin counties were among the top 10 counties in the U.S. for population growth last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. And, none of those new residents are bringing water with them.
If you are adding plants to your landscape, check out the Texas Smartscape plant database (www.txsmartscape.com/plant-search). Their recommendations are based on assessment by experts of each plant’s ability to thrive in North Texas and its relatively low water needs.
Do not water too much or too often. Generally, one inch of water per week is all that is needed to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful, except in the driest times.
If you have an irrigation system, have it checked for leaks and broken or misfiring heads. It would be best to use a Certified Irrigation Specialist to do this. Use a timer to control the amount of water going to different landscape areas.
For landscaped or vegetable garden areas, consider adding a drip irrigation system which will deliver water efficiently to the roots of the plants. Drip systems also keep water off of plant leaves thereby discouraging fungal diseases.
Consider adding a rain barrel. You can buy rain barrels or build them yourself as a relatively easy DIY project. Rainwater is neutral to slightly acidic and salt-free, which is perfect for plants’ root growth. If you have an HOA, be sure to check on their requirements before adding a rain barrel.
Learn more from Texas A&M AgriLife about making your own rain barrel at this link: https://hlhw.tamu.edu/media/1007/making-a-rain-barrel.pdf
Let’s all do our part to save water and save money!
Join us for these fantastic educational gardening events in June:
- June 18, Fruit, Vegetable, Herb & Flower Show
- June 28, Denton County AgriLife: Serving the Community & You
- June 28, Getting to Know Your Sprinklers
Check Upcoming Events for details at dcmga.com