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Do you own an irrigation system? Interested in saving water and money?
Water is essential to almost every part of daily life. Although we currently enjoy water resources in Minnesota the future is not guaranteed. Water conservation has become increasingly important as droughts occur more frequently, as our community expands, and as alternate water resources are threatened.
A growing body of evidence suggests that a “business as usual” approach to using our drinking water resources is not sustainable. To learn more about how you can help to secure our water's future, explore the strategies below.
- Water your lawn after sunset or before sunrise: Watering early in the morning when the temperature is low helps to retain that moisture on your lawn. Watering after 10 am wastes as much as 25 percent due to evaporation.
- Water only when your lawn needs it, rather than on a set schedule: if you own an in-ground sprinkler system, retrofit it with a soil moisture sensor or a smart irrigation controller.
- Water deeply and infrequently: plants are adapted to receive water more infrequently than you might think. Allowing the grass to dry between waterings also helps to promote deep and healthy root growth.
- Watch the weather: using a rain gauge can help you determine if your lawn has had one inch of water in the week, whether by rain or by sprinkler.
- Wait to mow, and mow high: Although grass will tolerate being mowed low, leaving your grass a little taller helps to improve lawn quality and lessen the need for irrigation.
- Watch your irrigation system: regular maintenance can reduce your irrigation water use by 15 percent or nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually- a savings of $23.32. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Reduce your lawn space to only the areas you're using often and transition the remainder of your lawn space to native, drought-tolerant plants. You can find more information on native plants on the Managed Natural Landscapes page here.
- Transition low traffic areas to low grow-no mow fescue, a drought resistant native turf grass. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Encourage deep root growth and reduce your water waste by using drip irrigation systems to disperse water in your garden rather than by overhead spraying or sprinklers. These systems water directly at the location of your plants leading to less water wastage and discouraging the growth of competitive weeds.
- Apply a thick layer of mulch to retain moisture in your garden and to discourage weed growth. This mulch will also break down to feed your soil over time.
- Rake your leaves into your garden as mulch. A 3-to-4-inch layer of leaves around perennials can increase moisture retention, prevent soil compaction, and insulate your plants in the winter.
- Water during the coolest times of day to prevent evaporation of water.
- Water your plants once a week after they are established. This encourages healthy root growth and prevents leaf diseases in some plants.
- Plant native varieties of berries which rely less on irrigated water like native strawberries, chokecherries, aronia berries, serviceberries, and mulberries. @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>
- Install rain barrels to stretch your outdoor water use. The Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization, or VLAWMO, currently offers residents a 50 percent match for rain barrel costs up to $100 per barrel. Applications will be reimbursed on a first come, first served basis. For more information visit the Vadnais Lake Area Watershed Management Organization’s website: https://www.vlawmo.org/grants/rainbarrel/ @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>