By Laura Jackson
Did you know…
The two biggest users of water at home in a typical household are toilets and landscape watering? During the summer, it’s common for more than half of all household water use to be for the lawn and garden. The Utah Division of Water Resources off ers some great advice on how to reduce your water consumption, lower your monthly water bill, and still enjoy a beautiful outdoor landscape.
Diversify your landscape.
Creating a landscape with a variety of native trees, bushes, fl owers, lawn and hardscaping can be more water and energy effi cient, as well as more visually enticing. The Swaner Demonstration Garden at Park City’s Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is an excellent educational garden designed to provide information to homeowners and businesses wanting to create colorful, low-maintenance landscapes while significantly reducing water use. Th is excellent resource is free and open to the public.
Low-Water Usage and Adapted Plants/Trees.
Your local nursery professional is the best source for Utah-friendly landscape plants and materials. Country Gardens Nursery is one such source, providing expertise in the area for 20 years.
Local owners Michele and Bart Mounteer understand that choosing plants and trees native to the area means they’re already adapted to our climate and soils. Not only will they thrive, but they’ll require less water. Th e new best product on the market is Hydretain. Hydretain acts like a water magnet allowing moisture vapor to contact the plant’s roots. Th is then formulates tiny pools that will prove vital to the plants survival when moisture drops out of reach of the roots. Th is prolongs a healthy internal process, dramatically decreasing, even eliminating, drought related stress. Studies have shown Hydretain’s unique ability to reduce watering requirements up to 50%.
Not only can a good, thick layer of mulch (Utah Division of Water Resources recommends 3-4” inches deep at least) cool fl owerbeds and inhibit weed growth, but it also slows the evaporation of water from the soil.
Design for hydrozoning.
It’s much more efficient to use plants with similar water needs in the same areas. Plan wisely by creating individual irrigation zones.
Informed planning before you plant allows you to take advantage of all the unique characteristics of your specific site. Along with grouping plants with similar water needs, it’s also always important to consider how factors such as sun, shade, wind and soil will impact your long-term results. Although plants vary in the amount of water they require, healthy plants typically need less water than stressed plants.