When it comes to the climate crisis, any action we can take to reduce our consumption helps. That’s why reducing the water that your houseplants, gardens, and lawns use can help in the fight against climate change. We’ll break down three categories of ways you can reduce your water consumption: soil choice, plant choice, watering mechanisms, and general practices.
As you consider how to improve your water consumption in your houseplants or garden, it’s important to first consider your soil composition. Certain soils, and soil amendments, are much better at storing water than others. Here at Willow, we’ve designed our Carbon Negative Potting Mix and Carbon Negative Soil Amendment in a way to maximize water adsorption and conservation, so that the soil itself holds onto water until your plants need it. Incorporating Willow into your garden or houseplants has been shown to reduce water use by up to 50%! Not only will this save on your water use and water bills, but it will save on your time spent watering as well.
When it comes to watering our plants less, choosing the right plants can be the single most important decision you can make. Especially if you live in a drought prone area, picking low water or drought resistant plants is key. Succulent gardens are a great way to combine low-water plants and aesthetics.
Naitive plants are another great option for maintaining a healthy ecosystem and reducing water consumption. Using native plants can reduce water usage because they’ve evolved to thrive in the conditions available in your area. This means that they won’t have special water or humidity needs which can help you reduce water use. Not to mention, using native plants in your garden can improve overall ecosystem health and introduce a host of healthy critters and microorganisms to your plants.
Beyond houseplants and gardens, making sure your lawn is water efficient is a great way to reduce water consumption. On average, you can use more than half a gallon of water per square foot of lawn. That’s a lot of water! Switching to a native grass or reducing the size of your lawn can dramatically reduce the amount of water you're using to keep your lawn green.
Finally, if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, capturing that rain can go a long way to reducing your water use. Creating a rain garden can help catch and filter roof runoff to help keep surrounding plants hydrated. Rain gardens are usually made on depressed land so that it acts as a drain and made with grasses and flowering perennials. By catching runoff and storing it in the ground, your garden and lawn can stay hydrated without your help.
One of the most efficient ways to reduce water consumption is to install a drip irrigation system. Yes, this can be costly and time consuming, but is an ideal solution for limiting the amount of water used in your garden. If installing drip irrigation is off the table, using a water timer can also help reduce the amount of excess consumption.
You can also save the water you're currently using and repurpose it on your plants! Placing a plastic carton under the faucet or tub as you wait for the water to heat up is an easy way to save a lot of water that would otherwise go down the drain. Harvesting rainwater is another way to use water that would go to waste. Using cisterns or another form of raincatcher can catch a significant amount of water to use for maintaining your garden. Not to mention, rain water tends to have less minerals in it that can impact plant growth.
Finally, using water efficient containers can help reduce the amount of water lost from evaporation. Glazed terracotta pots offer a stylish and water-friendly solution as the glaze prevents water from drying off the sides.
Lastly, the techniques used to water your plants can actually waste water. When watering plants, it’s important to make sure you’re hydrating the roots, not the leaves. This is also why avoiding a sprinkler system can help reduce water used in your garden.
Using mulch or stones on top of the soil can also help retain moisture and keep plants hydrated for longer. We also recommend incorporating our Carbon Negative Potting Mix and Carbon Negative Soil Amendment alongside mulch to maximize soil hydration and minimize evaporation.
When mowing your lawn, keeping the grass as long as possible will reduce water consumption. Longer grasses encourage deeper roots, which rely less on surface water. Longer roots can reach deep in the soil and stay better hydrated, especially during the hot months.
Finally, grouping plants by their watering needs and checking the weather before watering can help reduce overwatering. By knowing which plants need more/less water and keeping environmental conditions in mind, you can more accurately provide plants with just the right amount of water needed.
Overall, having a water conscious garden comes down to being water conscious yourself! Take note of your own consumption habits and be aware that water is a limited resource we all have to share! Have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of plant experts!