Gardening Season: Design a Water-Efficient Yard

Gardening season is here again!  I realize that if you look outside right now, in Toronto, you may be seeing flurries in the air so this might be a bit hard to believe.  Regardless of this, it is that time of year when many homeowner’s have started planning what will happen to their outdoor spaces for the season.

If you’re among those homeowner’s and are contemplating something big for your yard, why not consider changes that will make your garden friendly to both the environment and to your pocket-book?   You can create a beautiful garden, lower your water bill and relieve the burden on municipal water supplies by following a few simple principles.   Not to mention if you are thinking about selling you will be adding some lovely outdoor appeal that will be easy to keep up for the novice gardener and sensible for the experienced one!   Hope these tips help and happy gardening season.

Gardening Season: Xeriscape design (water friendly design)

 Gardening Season: Tips for designing a water-efficient garden

  1. Assess your current landscape:  Sketch your lot including;  property lines, buildings, driveways and features that will remain, all existing trees, shrubs and plants. Consider the specific conditions of your yard. Take into account that water requirements will differ in shady versus sunny spots, and slopes versus flat areas or depressions.
  2. Determine the type of soil you have and amend it:  You will need to find out what type of soil you have and improve its water retention capabilities by adding compost or other organic materials.  Remember, sandy soils drain water and clay soils hold water.
  3. Group plants with similar water needs to make watering more efficient:  Shrubs, perennials and trees should be grouped together in mulched beds as this will also help to reduce moisture loss.
  4. Size your lawn area to meet your practical needs for play and traffic:  Avoid many small or narrow lawn areas in favour of a consolidated lawn, to make them easier and more efficient to water. For primarily visual areas, consider water-efficient ground covers, perennials or shrubs. For foot-traffic routes or narrow spots, such as side yards, a permeable inert surface such as wood chips or natural stone requires no water.
  5. Choose plants that are well suited to your climate and site conditions:  Consider using plants that are native to your area.  It’s always ideal to consult your local garden centre or landscaping company to find out what would work best for your site.
  6. Use mulch!  It will help to keep the moisture in.
  7. Sweep it up: Use a broom instead of water to remove debris from paved surfaces such as driveways.
  8. Cover it: Cover swimming pools, hot tubs when they are not in use to reduce evaporation.


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