10 Water-Saving Tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Utilize grey water and air-conditioning condensate

Water that drains out of your shower, bath, washing machine, bathroom sink, and de-humidifier can go into the garden instead of into the septic system or municipal sewer system, potentially supplying much of your irrigation needs.  It’s called grey water because it is potentially dirty water containing soap, detergent, and dirt.  Your plants don’t mind.  If you plan to use your grey water use nontoxic, low sodium soap and detergent to avoid harmful build-up in your soil.

Grey water doesn’t usually include water from the dishwasher or kitchen sink that could potentially contain food particles or grease.  Nor does it contain water from the toilet or water used to wash diapers. This water needs to go through the proper sanitation procedures.  Grey water systems may not be legal in some places.  Check with your health department for regulations in your area.

Use native plants that are already adapted to your regional climate conditions

These will be drought tolerant.  Many native species have cultivars that have been selected for their showy flowers or leaf colours.  Using selected cultivars of native species that are already adapted to your growing conditions can improve the aesthetics of your garden.  These are also the plants that your native pollinators are attracted to.

Get rid of the thirsty lawn and plant perennial ground covers and shrubs in their place­­­­­­­­­­

Instead of planting turf grass which is a fast growing nutrient and water guzzler, plant native grasses and drought tolerant grasses or perennial flowers and shrubs that are more water efficient.  Bonus is you won’t have to mow.  Native grasses can be allowed to go to go to seed.  When touched with frost they change colour.   Sedges and oat grass are drought tolerant with attractive plumes and fall colours.

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