With the price of water rising in many areas as levels of drought increases, it may seem like it's impossible to maintain a healthy flowering garden. Designing your landscape to make the most of the water, especially where you need it most, is key to keeping things green. The following are a few ideas to consider.
Idea #1: Install drip irrigation
Drip or sub irrigation systems provide water right to the roots of the plants, so the moisture isn't lost to evaporation or wasted or areas of the landscape that don't require water. This allows you to use less water to keep your plants healthy. Drip irrigation lines can be temporary or permanent, depending on your needs. Sub irrigation systems are installed permanent in the beds, as they consist of a water reservoir beneath the root zones. Water is then wicked into the soil as needed via wicking chambers.
Idea #2: Reuse your gray water
A gray water system is an excellent idea, especially in drought prone areas where you may experience severe water restrictions. These systems reroute gray water from your home and into your garden beds. Depending on the design of the system, you may need to water manually or you may be able to switch it to the primary water source for your drip irrigation lines. Gray water is any dirty water that doesn't contain sewage, such as laundry rinse water, dish water, or even your shower water. You may need to change to biodegradable soaps if you implement this system, as some soaps and detergents are harmful to plants.
Idea #3: Capture natural moisture
Much of the rain that falls and the dew that collects is wasted in modern home home design – it simply runs off the roof and makes its way to the sewer. Planning for rain collection can allow you to take advantage of this free source of water. Your system can be as simple as a rain barrel or two hooked into your existing gutter system. You simply hook a host to the bottom of the barrel and let gravity control the flow. You can also have more involved systems installed with a large water cistern, above or below ground, and a pump to move the water through your irrigation lines to where it is needed most in the garden.
For more ideas on a drought resistant yard, speak with a landscape designer in your area,such as from Colourscape Inc.