Mulch, Soil Polymers, and Garden Water Conservation

Today we are talking about how to conserve water in your gardens and we will discuss some techniques you can use to retain moisture and successfully conserve water. To start, I’ll tell you that spreading mulch and soil polymers can help retain moisture in your gardens. There are many ways that mulch helps to conserve moisture in your gardens. Having a layer of mulch in your garden can help even out your soil temperatures from the sun. It also helps serve as a blanket of protection to the soil that will greatly reduce water loss from evaporation. Mulch also supresses against weed growth and reduces the amount of weeds that compete with your plants for moisture. Using mulch will help control against water run-off in your garden which will help improve the water infiltration in your garden beds. This is a great way to keep the water where you intend for it to go and keep the plant life you’re growing on your landscape hydrated.

Now let’s talk about soil polymers. Soil polymers are small jelly like, spongy substances that are also often called water crystals. They are mixed into the soil and they take up moisture then slowly release it back into the soil. Soil polymers are proven to effectively help your plant bed retain moisture for longer periods of time. When you really want to conserve water in your garden one of the best things you can do is to plant species of plants that are drought tolerant. These will vary depending on where you’re located in the world as your climate rules what can and cannot grow successfully. Just go on and check with your local co-operative extension service, master gardeners program, local plant nursery or a garden center in your area for a list of drought tolerant plant varieties to have a strong and beautiful garden even on the hottest days. Some of these varieties are Juniper Species, Spirea, and Daylilies. You can do your best to conserve water by selecting types of plants that will still thrive with minimum irrigation.

Try to group your plants with similar watering needs in areas that retain either more or less rain water so each plant receives the correct amount of water to grow to its full potential and stay healthy and strong. To give an example of this; plant all your plants that need the most watering in one area on your landscape so you can focus your watering efforts mostly to that one spot. Doing this will also reduce the amount of time you spend watering your garden on a regular basis. Now let’s talk about a rain garden and how to capture storm water run-off. Places like roads, parks, rooftops and walk ways all have solid surfaces which allow water to flow across and collect debris, contaminants and pollutants. A rain garden can provide a place where we can discharge our storm water allowing it to soak into the ground and filter the pollutants out of the water. A rain garden isn’t big at all; it’s about 12 to 18 inches deep but not more than 2 feet and it should contain a variety of shrubs and herbaceous plants which are capable of withstanding periodically saturated soil conditions. For more information on how to keep your garden properly hydrated without wasting, watch the videos in this series.