Save Energy from your Landscaping: But don’t forget to Conserve Water too

The previous posts in this series to save energy thanks to your landscaping habits has covered first the four main climate regions so that you can identify which strategies will work best for you. We then talked about the importance of shading and how best to do that and following that we went in depth on what windbreaks are and what they will do for your home’s heating needs. Finally we are going to cover how to best water that yard of yours so that you are not only energy efficient but water efficient too!

Water is yet another of our precious and limited resources so we need to do what we can to conserve it. In addition to your efforts to save energy we need to be conscious of how much of that blue liquid (okay, actually clear liquid, but bear with me!) we are using to sustain that garden. This starts by getting to know your plants; you don’t need to actually talk to them if you don’t want to but you do need to find out what their water requirements are. That way you won’t be overdoing it and in effect just wasting water and saturating your foliage; still you also need to think about your climate as that will affect the evapotranspiration rate. This is just a fancy term for how much water is lost from the soil’s own evaporation; you need to know this because this water will not be making its way to your plants’ roots and will have to be compensated for. You can find out this rate by contacting the local water district in the area or looking online; you can then irrigate accordingly.

We then move on to other key points in water management as you save energy from your yard in reference to in home temperature control. First you want to pick plants and trees that have been proven to do will in your particular climate and then do what you can to opt for those that require the least amount of water when possible. You can keep in mind that areas of turf such as bluegrass turf are going to up your water consumption because these types of plants are going to require lots of water and even supplemental irrigating tactics. When it comes to irrigating you want to divide your yard up into like minded plant sections, those that have similar water needs, so you should take this into consideration as you map out your garden. Further, watering in the morning is always best as the least amount of water will be lost due to evaporation.

There are also things you can do in terms or garden care that can impact how much water you use. The better quality your soil is the more readily your plants will be able to soak up that serving of life liquid as they will be spurred to grow roots that are much deeper. Pruning those growths that require it, weeding out that garden, and also supplementing with fertilizer will also lead to healthier plants and they will be able to function at their own maximum capacities. This also includes keeping those plants free of pests! Lastly not only will adding mulch to your landscape help keep plants cool and reduce evaporation but it will in turn negate to some degree the growth of weeds. In wrapping up this series on how to save energy due to landscaping tactics bear in mind that you also want to be conscious of just how much water you use in keeping that yard lush and green!

Photo credit: Daniel Hughes