Irrigation and Landscape Design

In designing your backyard landscape, you should think about the irrigation system that will be used to water your plants and trees. Will you be using hoses above the ground or will you want below ground water sprinklers installed. You have to also take into consideration the water bill and in that respect you should learn when and how to water.

Mow your grass at a higher length so that it is longer. There is some controversy about whether this is helpful in saving water but it is better for the health of the grass as longer grass has stronger roots and is then more drought resistant. The grass should be mowed to a length of three inches. Aerate your lawn regularly as this will help the water get through the compacted soil and it also provides air to the roots of the grass. How often you should aerate your lawn depends on the type of grass you have and whether or not you remove lawn clippings. Dry spots are an indication that your lawn needs aeration.

Do not use as much fertilizer, as fertilizers help the lawn to grow and there is more usage of water with higher growth. Apply only the minimum amount of fertilizer needed. You can also apply fertilizer in small doses more frequently. Use a fertilizer dispenser to distribute the fertilizer evenly and you will not waste any of the fertilizer. Avoid the chemicals used in toxic fertilizer injection methods as they may be blown into neighbor’s yards or children may play in the wet grass and be subjected to it. If you add about a two or three inches deep layer of mulch: wood chips, almond hulls, decorative rock, etc. you will reduce the amount of water you use and reduce the number of weed in your lawn.

You can save water by reshaping your backyard landscape. If you shrink the size of your lawn, you will save water since the lawn takes more water than plants or shrubs. If your irrigation system is close to the house of near fences, reduce the size of the lawn in those places as the irrigation water spraying the house or fence can cause problems. You can use low growing plants with drip irrigation between the fence and the house. If you would like to have a small garden area with plants that use a lot of water, then set it in a shady area where the wind will not get at it. High water plants will use less water when planted in a shady area and where they are protected from high winds.

Because of the emphasis on water conservation, many water providers in dry areas of the country are giving coupons, rebates and discounts to purchasers of irrigation equipment. Some will even provide the equipment free of charge to their local customers. You should ask you water provider about these discounts, etc. before you purchase any irrigation equipment and ask about freebies also.

Check out IdeaLandscaping.com to find great landscape ideas articles, advice, tips, backyard landscaping ideas and much more on landscaping and gardening topics.

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