Mark Anderson, owner, Anderson’s Seed and Garden

You’ve heard everyone talking about it this spring. Low snowpack and a dry fall, winter, and spring all add up to the same thing: drought and water conservation. What can you do to be a part of the solution? Here are my best recommendations to help you save water and money while maintaining a beautiful yard.

• Switch from a sprinkler to a soaker hose or drip system.

It’s not very practical to water your lawn with a soaker hose, but using sprinklers for your landscape flowers, shrubs, and trees and in your vegetable garden is very inefficient. A soaker hose uses 70% less water than a sprinkler to do the same or a better job of watering your plants. A drip system uses 90% less water than a sprinkler and it delivers the water directly to the root systems of your plants; nothing is wasted or evaporated away. This is the perfect year to switch those sprinklers to a more efficient method of watering.

• Make adjustments to your lawn watering and maintenance.

There are so many things to help your lawn stay green with a lot less water. Mow your lawn taller and it will stay green longer between waterings. Use a soil penetrant/wetting agent like Hydretain to boost the water absorption and retention capability of your soil; this can decrease your watering by 30-50%! Incorporate new drought-tolerant grasses into your existing lawn for a darker green with 25-50% less water. Water in the evenings or early mornings, water for longer periods, but less frequently, and turn off your sprinklers if it rains. Cache County Extension can even help you analyze your sprinklers and adjust them for peak efficiency.

• Mulches save water and keep plants healthy.

Using protective mulches will decrease water use by helping the soil retain moisture longer by reducing evaporation and reflecting away drying heat. It also cools plant root systems and can provide beneficial nutrients to the plants.

Of course, there are many other methods available to homeowners and gardeners alike to save water, but these are the most effective and least expensive ways to decrease water use in your lawn and landscape. Be a part of the solution!