Water Saving Gardens - Steps 4 - 7

Pine Straw



Keeping the soil moist as long as possible after it receives rain is one of the best ways to reduce the need to do any supplementary watering. 

Mulch is most effective when it is 3” deep.  It will smother weeds, prevent erosion and make maintenance a breeze. 

Shredded bark mulch is popular, but pine straw and even shredded leaves are also good for mulch.  The jury is still out on shredded rubber mulch, so weigh the pros and cons before you invest.


Pretty Plants Please
The best plants you can possibly choose for your water wise garden are native plants.  First of all, they are already adapted to the climate you have, including times of drought.  Second, there are so many possible choices you will never feel you have to settle for less.  Third, planting native plants helps the environment by maintaining the eco-system of your region.

There are so many choices in flowers, groundcovers, shrubs and trees that use less water than exotic or hybridized plants.  Your state or provincial Native Wildflower Society is more than happy to advise you on plants that will work best for your region. 




Irrigate Wisely
All life needs water, and there comes a time when you must give your garden a drink. 

Drip irrigation hose systems are the best way to do this.  They are easy to install yourself.  Get supplies at commercial garden centers or order online.


Timely maintenance can nip a multitude of problems before they ever start.  Diseases and pests don’t care for healthy plants. 

Fertilizing appropriately, weeding, pruning, removing dead plant material, dead heading and integrated pest management will all keep your garden at its loveliest…and most water efficient.


Sources:  New York City Government
Colorado State University Extension



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