Rain barrels are one of the easiest ways to save water and garden in a more environmentally friendly manner. Rain barrels are, however, just one way to save water in the home and landscape. These other water-saving tips will help you get the most out of the rain water you have saved. They will also help you save even more water-helping the environment and your wallet!
Check your Sprinklers
Even though you have a rain barrel, you might still use automatic irrigation to water portions of your lawn and flowerbeds. Periodically check the sprinkler watering pattern to make sure that it is watering only the lawn and garden, and not the house, sidewalk, driveway or street.
Additionally, check to make sure that there are no leaking irrigation heads or pipes. One leaking irrigation sprinkler head can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
Compost Instead of using the Garbage Disposal
Each time you use the garbage disposal, you use several gallons of water to send food that could be composted into the sewage treatment plant. Instead of doing that, compost your vegetable food scraps. You’ll save water, and create nice, crumbly compost for use in your garden!
Collect Water from Washing Vegetables to use on other Plants
Wash vegetables in a pan filled with water, and then use that water to water container plants or houseplants.
Save Water from the Shower
While you wait for the shower to warm up, save the water that runs in a barrel, bucket or other easy to carry container that holds at least five gallons of water. Then, keep the water in a rain barrel or other barrel outside, and you’ll have it to use on your plants, yard or to wash your car.
Native plants use less water because they are well-adapted to growing conditions. They’ll need less supplemental water, less food, and less maintenance. They also provide food sources and shelter for wildlife.
Use Mulch in the Garden
Mulch helps conserve water and reduce evaporation. Organic mulch like grass clippings, shredded bark, shredded newspapers and other materials that will break down make good mulches because they add nutrients to the soil.
Use a Broom instead of a Hose to Clean Sidewalks
There are few bigger wastes of water than using a hose to clean the sidewalk. There is absolutely no good reason to use one. A broom can be used, or a rake or shovel. Never use fresh water to clean the patio or pavement.
Water the Garden Deeply and Infrequently
If you water your plants deeply once or twice a week, your plants will grow deep roots that reach further down into the ground for available water. You will use less water, grow healthier plants, and save money.
Aerate your Lawn Yearly
Keeping the lawn in good shape, and it will need less water. Aerating the lawn allows for better penetration of air, water and food. It also allows plants to grow roots deeper into the ground.
In addition to using a rain barrel to save water, each of the water saving techniques outlined above will help your household be more environmentally friendly.