It looks like spring weather may have finally arrived in Cleveland. If you’ll be taking advantage of the warmer weather this weekend by getting some yard work done, keep these water tips in mind:
Check for leaks.
Check your outside spigots and hoses for leaks that may have occurred from freezing over the winter. These types of leaks can be costly if left unchecked but are often easy and inexpensive to fix.
Also, check your in-ground sprinkler system if you have one. It may have leaks, too, as the result of frost damage. And make sure your system is set correctly so that it doesn’t turn on when it’s raining.
Doing some spring cleaning indoors? Take the opportunity to inspect your faucets and toilets for leaks as well. Like outdoor leaks, these can often be repaired with little effort or cost but can have a big impact on reducing your water bill.
Use lawn chemicals wisely.
When used correctly, pesticides and fertilizers can protect plants from damage and help a garden flourish. But if used or disposed of improperly, pesticides and fertilizers can pollute stormwater runoff and our environment.
Always read and follow all lawn chemical directions and warnings carefully. Only use the specified amount and avoid applying them right before it’s windy or rains as newly-applied or excess pesticides and fertilizers are more likely to wash off into storm drains, wasting your money and ultimately contaminating local waterways.
Also be sure to use the right type of fertilizer for your soil. Get a soil test or check your soil type before applying fertilizer to your lawn or garden.
Conserve outdoor water use.
Consider xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that uses native, slow-growing, and drought-tolerant plants to create a low maintenance lawn or garden. Xeriscaping significantly reduces the need for watering and the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
If you do need to regularly water your lawn or garden, install rain barrels to collect and store rainwater that you can use for watering.
When watering plants, don’t waste water by watering them in the wrong place or during the wrong time of day. Use a watering wand, drip irrigation, or soaker hose to direct water right to the root zone where it’s needed. And water your lawn or garden during the early morning or evening hours. Never water during a hot afternoon. The high temperature will quickly evaporate the water requiring you to use more to hydrate plants adequately.
Cover your garden beds with a thin layer of mulch or compost to help retain moisture, reduce evaporation and minimize runoff. Be careful not to spread it too thick, however, or it can work against you by preventing moisture from reaching the roots.