How To Reduce Landscape Watering Costs
Reduce landscape watering costs with downspout extensions, rain barrels, gray water, efficient watering schedules, and by using the right plants in your landscaping.
Hot, dry weather often results in skyrocketing water bills. Thirsty lawns, wilting shrubs, and even hardy roses need a surprising amount of water during the summer months to stay healthy. The good news is that there are many ways you can reduce landscape watering costs at any time of year. With only a little planning and a very small investment in a few handy tools, you can take advantage of rain and water already being used in the home to keep plants healthy while reducing your normal summer water bill.
Start With Downspout Extensions
Flexible downspout extensions are a convenient way to put rain where you need it most. These adaptable gutter extensions, in lengths of 25' and 50', redirect rain away from structures, where it can cause structural or mold problems. Useful discharge points include hedgerows, fruit and ornamental trees, large shrubs and ponds. Flexible downspout extensions provide the ability to customize water flow to best suit your landscaping, being able to go around corners, structural components, and vulnerable landscaping, unlike rigid gutter extensions.
Added Convenience With Automatic Downspout Extensions
Shorter automatic downspout extensions (4 to 9 feet) work much like flexible downspout extensions with the added benefit of being fully automatic. These rollout downspout extensions unroll when it rains and roll themselves back up when the rain stops. Rollout downspout extensions help reduce landscape watering costs by putting rain where it will do the most good and reduce the likelihood of crawlspace flooding, mold growth, and potential foundation damage.
Collect Free Rain Water In Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are an excellent way to collect rain, saving it for the dry season. Available online, through catalogs, and at most garden centers, garden barrels are also relatively easy to construct for the DIYer in the family. With spigots at the base of the rain barrel, gravity pushes water through an attached hose, making it useful for both in-ground and container plants. Rain water provides the added benefit of being free of chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine that may be detrimental to more delicate plantings.
Put Gray Water To Work
Just as downspout extensions and rain barrels provide free water for landscaping, gray water can often be used. Gray water is the water that would normally go down the drain from sinks, tubs, and washing machines. Unless harsh chemicals or antibacterials are being used, this gray water is not harmful. Most household soaps act as surfactants that help plants to absorb water and nutrients more readily. Additionally, most pests don't care much for it and stay away.
When and how you water can profoundly reduce water bills while still maintaining a healthy landscape. Rather than watering frequently and shallowly, less frequent, heavier watering promotes deeper root growth. Deeper roots can often access underground aquifers. Watering should never be done during the hottest part of the day. Early morning or evening are best for the plants, and by watering when the temperature is cooler you can reduce water loss through evaporation.
Design For Water Conservation
In addition to redirecting free rain water with downspout extensions to plants that need more, planting varieties that naturally use less water can help reduce landscape watering costs. Succulents, woody shrubs, and herbs use far less water than other common landscape components. Also, consider what to plant where your rollout downspout extensions discharge.
The use of flexible downspout extensions, automatic downspout extensions, rain barrels, and gray water all work together to reduce landscape watering costs, while also protecting the health of your family members and the structural integrity of your home.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rainguard Corporation helps you reduce landscape watering costs with advice on downspout extensions, rain barrels, gray water and efficient watering methods.