Beautiful Meadows & Water Conservation

How to create a beautiful meadow conserving water - By Tina Martin

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Climate change is becoming a topic of growing concern worldwide. The effects of global warming are becoming increasingly apparent, with weather catastrophes impacting previously unaffected areas. In many parts of the United States, for example, drought events are increasing in frequency and duration, making water conservation a hot topic. While you can't change the weather, you can do your part to preserve the planet and conserve water.


This guide from Relief Network Ministries explains how you can create a beautiful meadow that also saves water.


Recognize the benefits of a water-conserving meadow.

Revamping your garden in the interests of water conservation will require time, energy, and money. Recognizing the advantages can keep you motivated. First, there is the obvious environmental benefit. Then, there's the fact that you'll be able to save money on water. Further, you may be able to benefit from the FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage program. This can be applied to new or refinanced mortgages and used for eco-friendly changes like installing energy-efficient irrigation systems.


Aerate to maximize soil absorption.

Professional landscapers understand the wisdom behind aeration, the process of freeing up soil to absorb as much water and nutrients as possible. Whether a spike aerator or a plug aerator is used, aeration is beneficial when dealing with compacted soil or soil composed of a lot of clay.


Implement eco-friendly landscape and hardscape design.

Landscape design directly impacts your immediate environment. To limit water runoff and soil erosion, reduce turf areas in your meadow. Instead, opt for more deep-rooted plants and trees, which do a better job of stabilizing the earth than shallow-rooted grass seedlings. Hardscaping can also make a difference. For example, sloped areas of your garden that are prone to erosion can be protected with step-wise stone walls.


Wisely select the shrubs, flowers, and trees you plant.

If you want to conserve water, introduce greenery into your garden that doesn't require much moisture. The Spruce offers a guide to drought-tolerant plants that can survive even without a lot of rain. Examples include aloe, beardtongue, geranium, and lavender. You can also boost your environmentalism by planting an edible garden. This allows you to minimize your reliance on supermarket produce—which tends to be shipped long distances and isn't very eco-friendly.


Master the art of mulching.


Mulch can play a valuable role in water conservation in your garden. It provides a protective layer over the soil, helping to keep moisture in the earth beneath it. However, it's important to choose the correct type of mulch for your garden. The wrong mulch can hold too much moisture in, causing problems like root rot. There are many types of mulches to choose from, including gravel, compost, peat moss, and wood chips.


Create a rain garden.


If your meadow is prone to water runoff, which erodes the soil, consider planning a rain garden. This is a cluster of native flowers, shrubs, and perennials planted in a small depressed area of the meadow. It helps to collect runoff and avoids flooding. Family Handyman provides a comprehensive guide to how to craft a rain garden. In addition to a level, spade, and wheelbarrow, you'll also need landscape fabric, rocks, plants, and PVC pipe.


Build your own rain barrel.


If you live in an area that's prone to droughts, you want to conserve every bit of water you can. A rain barrel is the answer. This catches rain when it falls and holds it for later use. People use rain barrels to water their gardens, wash their cars, and even for household purposes like flushing toilets. You can make your own rain barrel using basic supplies you can find at any hardware store.


Other tips around the home.


In addition to what you can do outside, also look inside your home for ways to conserve water. These include using a low-flow shower head, and even reducing the amount of toilet water flushed by placing a brick or two in the tank, which displaces some of the water volume. Also keep in mind that a plumbing pro can be a partner in helping you conserve water at home. Not only can they fix leaky faucets, but they can detect and repair leaks you may not even be aware of, as well as installing a hot water recirculation system that avoids having to run the faucet while you wait for water to heat up.


A beautiful meadow doesn't have to mean wasting water. Follow these tips and tricks to create a drought-resistant garden that won't require a great deal of moisture.