You don't have to spend a lot of green to keep your garden green. In fact, there are ways to conserve water, save on your water bill and still have a lush garden.
Many homeowners save water and money by using drip irrigation systems that deliver the right amount of water slowly and evenly at the plant's roots-where it is needed most.
Today's drip systems are easily set up and operated. They draw water directly from an outside faucet or an automatic irrigation system and precisely deliver it to drip zones. By using a sprinkler timer, you can automatically water all your flower beds, shrubs, garden, hedges and potted plants with drip irrigation, even when you are not at home.
Here are some drip basics to help you save water from the experts at Rain Bird, a global leader in drip irrigation:
1. Start by estimating the water needs of your plants. Knowledgeable and helpful staff at your local garden center can assist you to determine just how much water your plants need to be healthy. Different plants will have different requirements depending on their variety and the conditions of your yard, such as sun exposure and soil type. You can also check with local university horticulture departments or resource books at the library.
2. Choose the right drip products to deliver the required water efficiently. A well-designed drip system can deliver water faster or slower depending on the individual needs of each plant by using different types of emission devices.
3. For optimum performance, keep your water pressure under control with a pressure regulator. These simple devices keep your water pressure in the ideal range of within 20-50 psi. If your water pressure is too high, you may experience misting and inefficient watering.
4. Include a filter in your system to prevent clogging. Drip irrigation uses smaller-diameter openings than traditional sprinklers, so tiny bits of dirt and debris may clog your system if you don't use a filter. The good news is that filters are relatively inexpensive and new designs are even self-cleaning for worry-free operation.
A well-designed drip irrigation system will lose practically no water to runoff, deep percolation or evaporation.
Rain Bird offers an online step-by-step guide to drip irrigation in addition to interactive demos, and even a drip calculation program to help homeowners and contractors design and schedule drip irrigation systems correctly, at www.rainbird.com. (NAPSA)-
One way to reduce your water bill is to install and maintain an irrigation system that carefully distributes water where it is needed.