10 Quick Tips to Conserve Water (and Save Money, Too!)

If you’re like some folks, you don’t give much thought to how much water you use every day. But since we’re in the thick of the worst drought since 1956, it’s well past time to start thinking about conserving this precious natural resource!

Conserving water doesn’t have to leave your lawn and garden parched and dry. Here’s how to reap what you sow without using lots of H2O:

  1. Add a layer. Compost, peat moss, and mulch help your plants retain water.
  2. Weed more. Those garden invaders are stealing water away from your prized plants.
  3. Time your water. Do your watering in the morning, not in the afternoon, when the sun will cause much of it to evaporate. And don’t water in the evening either. The plants will stay cool and wet overnight, making them prime targets for fungal disease.
  4. Think like a local. Choose and use plants in your yard that match your climate and site conditions.
  5. Focus their attention. Adjust your sprinklers so that only your grass and garden beds are being watered—not your house, driveway, sidewalk, or street.
  6. Stop the drops. Frequently check your outdoor faucets, sprinklers, and hoses for leaks.
  7. Just a little off the top. Adjust your mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades roots and holds in moisture.
  8. Give it room to breathe. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots instead of flowing right off the surface.
  9. Plan your planting. Plant trees, shrubs, and lawns in the spring or fall when temps are cooler and rain is more frequent.
  10. Capture the water. Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up—rather than letting it go down the drain. Then take the bucket outside and use the water to quench the thirst of your potted plants.