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3 Ways to Save Water When Getting Ready For Spring

3 Ways to Save Water When Getting Ready For Spring

By Brad Wardle, B-hyve

While much of the country is still in the throes of winter, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to getting your yard and garden ready. And let’s face it, making a plan for your garden and lawn can brighten spirits during those cold winter months.

Last year, the western United States was hit hard with record heat waves, resulting in droughts that impacted a lot of people. Some reports indicate drought conditions will continue into 2022, making water conservation a hot topic – no pun intended. As these droughts persist, consumers are looking for more ways to balance their desire to save water, while still having a lush and healthy garden.

While there’s not much we can do immediately to combat the heat and drought, there are simple things that homeowners can do over a weekend to ensure they save water and green at the same time.

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Convert from Spray to Drip in Your Beds

While the concept of drip irrigation has been around for years in some form or fashion, there are still many homes using traditional pop-up spray heads to water their flower beds. While spray sprinklers can still come in handy and are necessary when needing to water large beds with a lot of plants or flowers that don't have much soil between them, drip irrigation in small residential beds is a great option if you are looking to save water.

Retrofitting a flowerbed’s irrigation from a traditional line to a drip line isn’t as difficult as it seems. Why? All the trenching, piping, and valve installation has been done for you. In many instances, you can either cap all but one existing spray head and run piping through the beds or replace several existing heads with drip attachments that can be distributed throughout.

Regardless of the approach, drip will save a lot of water because it delivers the exact water each plant needs without over spraying.

Catch Cups

Knowing how much water your lawn needs is much more science than art. It’s easy to think that once it gets warmer you just need to add more time to your watering schedule and you’ll be set. However, how much water are you actually using?

You’ve probably already seen catch cups when strolling through your local nursery or hardware store. These clear, cone-shaped cups are designed to be set up around your yard and help homeowners determine the efficiency of their watering.

While it sounds difficult, they are quite easy to use. Before installing, ensure your sprinklers are as straight up and down as possible and remove any grass or other debris that might be blocking the spray. Doing this will ensure a more accurate reading.

Then, simply place a catch cup two feet away from each sprinkler head and halfway between each head in every direction. After your catch cups are laid out, mark where each cup is located so that you can later go back and check the volume of water in each cup to determine where the problem areas are in your yard.

Run your sprinklers for about five minutes and then write down the volume of water in each cup. To determine how long you should water your lawn, go to WateringSchedule.com where you can insert all your data, as well as your city or zip code. It will help you create a program that is optimal for your yard. We’ve created a video that walks you through each step: You can watch here. Or if you have a smart-sprinkler timer, you can input that information in the device’s app and you’ll never have to worry about it again.

Plant The Correct Plants

Everyone has that one flower, plant or tree that they love. Either they grew up seeing it in their own yards or noticed it while on vacation or visiting a friend’s home. However, not every plant is suited for every yard – or region for that matter.

That’s because soil types or geographies differ, and each plant reacts differently to where they are planted. Some look beautiful but require more water than others.

How do you ensure that you are planting the right plants for your area? That’s where your local nursery comes into play. Most nurseries are locally owned and pride themselves in knowing what will look good and thrive in the local environment. Shop local as these owners are great stewards of the earth.

As you get ready for the watering season, planning ahead and getting things laid out now will save you water, time, and money when the heat arrives.


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