Conserve Water

Advice_Conserve water 2 copyPlanning

  • choose drought-tolerant plants for south- or west-facing areas
  • locate water-intensive or shade-tolerant plants in east- or north-facing areas, drainage swales, or near the house.
  • choose native plants to reduce water use, provide habitat, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • consider planting groundcovers or low-maintenance perennials instead of turf
  •  group plants with similar water needs in “zones” to avoid over- or under-watering individual plants.
  • screen plants from wind with berms, walls, lattices, hedges, or natural features to reduce evaporation
  • use raised beds to hold water and confine it to where the plants need it.


Plant after summer rains begin when humidity is higher and soil is already moist to conserve water, encourage robust root systems, and give plants a better chance of survival
  • add compost to your soil to improve its texture and water-holding capacity; topdress with at least an inch of compost each year
  • plant vegetables in blocks instead of rows to create a canopy of leaves that reduce evaporation
  • mulch soil around plants to reduce evaporation, prevent erosion, control weeds, and enrich the soil; use organic material such as compost or bark that retains some moisture to raise humidity at plant level.
  • water new plantings deeply but gradually reduce watering to help them develop good roots.


  • water in early morning or late afternoon when cooler temperatures allow moisture to be absorbed before it evaporates
  • avoid watering when it’s windy
  • use drip irrigation and soaker hoses to increase efficiency, minimize evaporation, and limit weed growth
  • water vegetables according to their need, not a schedule
  • use rain barrels or a cistern to collect water from downspouts; a 1,000 square foot roof yields 625 gallons of water from one inch of rain.
  • water trees and shrubs with a soaker hose or in a zig-zag pattern around the dripline infrequently but to a depth of 8 or 10 inches
  •  maintain turf grass at 1-1/2” to 2” high to trap moisture and reduce evaporation