Top 10 Ways to Conserve Water

Ten simple ways to cut back on water in the garden and yard.

April 17, 2012

Water is vital to the life of your garden and yard, yet gardeners often waste this precious resource. Whether your area is suffering from a drought or not, follow these guidelines to cut down on water usage:

1. Deep Watering


Water deeply, making sure to soak the root zone rather than the whole yard.

Read More: How long should you leave the hose on?

Photo: (cc) Beth Harper/Flickr

Native Plants


When landscaping, choose native plants that require little or no water beyond what nature provides.

Photo: Christa Neu

More: Native Plants for Vour Region


3. Groundcover

Plant groundcovers and shade trees to help keep your yard cool.

Photo: Rob Cardillo

4. Mulch

Mulch your garden regularly to lock in soil moisture.

Extra: The Best Mulch Material

Photo: Rob Cardillo


5. Drip Irrigation

Use watering methods such as drip irrigation or soaker hoses to reduce evaporation by directing water to plant roots.

Extra: Beginner's Guide to Drip Irrigation

Photo: Christa Neu


Intensive Planting


Closely space plants in your raised vegetable garden, so there is less area to water (make sure to provide enough room for root development).

Photo: Christa Neu







Follow the principles of xeriscaping, a water-saving garden design method used by many gardeners in more arid climates.

Photo: (cc) Aka Hige/Flickr

8. Build a Deck

Limit the size of your lawn by adding a deck, patio, or walkway, which also adds backyard enjoyment.

Photo: Rodale


9. Rain Barrel

Connect a rain barrel to a gutter on your home to create a ready source of water for your plants.

Extra: Recommended Rain Barrels

Photo: (cc) Arlington County/Flickr

10. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Recycle household water from drinking glasses and steaming or cooking vegetables and pasta to water plants.


Keep Reading:
Smart techniques to conserve water without leaving your garden thirsty.

Photo: Punchstock