How To Save Water!
Happy July from Desert Rose! In this month's blog we will highlight water saving tips and how to reduce your water bill, but still have a beautiful yard. As we all know, water in the desert is a precious resource, so in Santa Fe we need to try our best to protect this supply by balancing a beautiful yard with water conservation. Water bills in Santa Fe are no joke and water waste can lead to ridiculously high bills. So what is the best way to make water go further in your yard? Let’s review some options.
First and foremost, the most important way to save water is to use mulch in your flowerbeds. Mulch has the ability to trap moisture in the soil by acting as an insulator against the sun. When the sun hits un-mulched soil it causes an increase in surface temperature, which causes the soil to dry faster (through evaporation). When an area is mulched, the evaporation process is slowed down greatly, which allows your plants more time to absorb the water. Another tool that is often overlooked are hydrogel crystals. These are added at the time of planting (be sure to follow the directions on the package), and when you water the soil, the small hydrogel crystals expand sevenfold by swelling with water. As the soil dries out, the crystals release the absorbed water back into the soil, helping to keep the soil moist for longer periods of time.
Another method to save water is by installing an irrigation system. Although they are expensive, and your water bill may not go down by much, what you are doing is more EFFICIENTLY watering your plants. This means that more water is getting to your plant instead of wetting the soil where no plants are and subsequently evaporating, or running off/out of the planted areas instead of staying where the water is needed. Irrigation systems result in less water wasted, with the water you are paying going exactly where you want it to go. Not only will you have healthier, more beautiful plants, but you are using water as efficiently as possible for your garden.
Another key way to save water is the way in which your landscape is designed. When your landscape is being created, ask for a xeric landscape. Xeric landscapes are waterwise, cheaper in the long run (usually less maintenance and a lot less of a water bill), and give your yard a nice, tailored New Mexico look. With a wide variety of native plants, shrubs, trees, cacti, and character stones, a xeric yard can look as good if not better than a high water demand landscape.
We hope this blog helped you remember that saving water is always in season and we all need to do our part in protecting this precious resource.