The intense levels of sunshine in Southern Florida mean our plants need a regular water supply. However, a regular watering schedule can be time-consuming and increase your water bills. Here are our best tips to save money on your water bill and conserve water in your landscaping techniques.
Group your plants with similar water, sun, and soil requirements to conserve water and improve plant health. This concept is called hydrozoning and ensures that each spot in your backyard receives the perfect amount of water so that you aren’t overwatering the plants that don’t need it! If you plant thirsty flowers next to a drought-tolerant plant, no one will be happy. Planting your drought-tolerant plants together means the whole area requires less water!
Adding mulch to your garden helps regulate soil temperatures, reduce evaporation, and add organic matter to your soil over time! It is a protective layer insulating the soil from direct heat, conserving water for your plants. In Southern Florida’s climate, you should add fresh mulch every 8-12 months. Conserve water and beautify your garden with a sleek black mulch to contrast the tropical foliage in your landscape!
Watering Based on Soil Moisture
The best way to save money and conserve water is only to water your plants when necessary. Even if the top layer of your soil looks dry, it might still have enough moisture underneath to wait another day or two! Stick your finger a few inches into your garden soil; if it’s dry, it needs to water, but if it is still moist, a knuckle or two deep, it can wait.
Keep Your Lawn Long
Cutting your grass about 3 inches tall helps shade your soil and slow the moisture evaporation process; you can turn down those sprinkler times and say goodbye to your pricey water bills every month. Your grass will also benefit, as longer grass blades develop deeper root systems over time and can find water and nutrients in the soil easier.
Reduce Your Green Space
Replacing the lawn in your backyard with pavement, turf, interlocking stone, or other design options helps reduce your water bill and the time and labor spent caring for your lawn. Opting for less lawn also allows you to do a DIY renovation in your backyard and add new plants into your garden, specifically drought-tolerant ones that can help you improve your water conservation efforts even further. It’s a win-win situation!
Adjust Your Sprinklers
Monitor your watering schedule using a sprinkler system with a timer and set watering times, adjusting as necessary throughout the year. These devices conserve water and distribute it in just the right amount at the right time. The rainy season in Southern Florida typically falls between mid-May and October, so this is a great time of year to cut down on watering times and leave it to Mother Nature to hydrate your garden!
Improve Your Soil
Using compost to improve the quality of your garden soil, you enhance its ability to absorb nutrients and hold water. All it takes is one inch of compost a year to see great results. Chopped leaves, manure, and fruit and vegetable trimmings all serve as great compost options to help your soil conserve water and keep it healthy all year round!
Conserving water in your garden is environmentally friendly, but it’s also good for your bank account and your personal time. Creating a water-efficient garden doesn’t have to be difficult; luckily, we are here to help you do it! Visit Living Color Garden Center in Fort Lauderdale for more information on achieving a sustainable and water-conserving garden today.