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Watering your garden


Environment Canada reports that Canadians are among the highest water users in the world, second only to the United States. And our water use goes up by 50% in the summer, thanks in part to the arrival of gardening season.

What can you do about it?

Revive the rain barrel. Any rain that trickles from the sky can be saved and used on your garden. Have your downspouts disconnected (ask your municipality if it has a downspout disconnection program ( many municipalities offer this service for free). Redirect the downspouts into a rain barrel, which you can empty onto your garden once a week. Cover it with superfine mesh or a lid during dry spells, so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  • Water early in the morning or in the evening to stop the water from evaporating in the hot sun.
  • Water your lawn once a week maximum.
  • Light daily watering teaches the roots of grasses to grow toward the surface, where they are vulnerable to heat.

Try the good old-fashioned Frisbee trick. Set an upside down Frisbee on the area where you’ll be watering – when the Frisbee is full, you’re done. Grass needs about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) of water once a week. So, you need to run the sprinkler only if it hasn’t rained in the last week. Keep an eye on your watch to see how long it takes to fill the Frisbee. Then you can set a timer for your sprinkle for future watering.

Leave yourself a note. If you do sprinkle the lawn, write a note that says “turn off sprinkler”, and leave it sitting out on your counter until you actually do turn the sprinkler off. You might want to put a time on your reminder so if someone else notices the note, they’ll know then to turn off the outdoor faucet.

These tips came from:
Ecoholic, Adria Vasil
Green for Life: 200 Simple Eco-Ideas for Every Day, Gillian Deacon
2 Minutes a Day for a Greener Planet, Marjorie Lamb

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