Many of us have childhood memories playing outside during warm weather and getting caught in the stream of water as our parents fed the garden with the hose. It may have been fun to catch a few drops while the tomatoes were being drenched but overall it wasn’t efficient water usage.

With spring just around the corner gardeners are already planning out logistics for the new growing season and water efficiency is something that’s high on their agenda.

After all, some regions of North America are experiencing drought like conditions and water bills have gone up. Rather than cut back on prospective crops many gardeners want solutions.

That being the case here are a few tips for conserving vital water resources without jeopardizing a successful growing season:

Low-water plants

One way to save water is consider the types of plants and vegetation being grown as needs vary. For example, certain varieties of vegetables like some cucumbers need more water; things like squash need less. Certain lawns need to be fed very often; plants like lavender and rosemary can manage on less.

This isn’t to say an avid gardener should replace all plants that drink a lot with lower maintenance species. However it’s something to consider when choosing new additions for the garden or when planning to overhaul the landscaping.

In many respects it can be a major upgrade and excitingly new botanical adventure.

Water early

Once you’ve sorted out the kinds of plants it’s important to know the best time for feeding. For instance watering the garden during the middle of the day isn’t ideal because it’s the hottest hour and a large percentage of that water will simply evaporate.

The best time to water plants is in the early morning hours when it will give roots strength to take on the midday heat.

If that doesn’t work out the late afternoon or early evening will suffice. Just remember that when watering close to dark or at night it’s preferable not to get leaves wet because lingering moisture invites fungi and nocturnal creatures like slugs that eat vegetation.

Target the roots:

Targeting roots is the key to efficient feeding but doing so requires a good delivery. As already mentioned hoses are probably not the best tool for this because even on the most sensitive setting water will land in other places too.

Instead, the hose should be employed as a means for transferring water from the home to feeders when plots are in the middle of the yard. These feeders, such as watering cans, could then be filled on site in place of having to carry gallons from the house.

It should be noted that even when a hose is not being employed some watering cans may not have the appropriate spout to deliver water directly to the base of plants. If necessary, try using a water bottle or something similar that can control the stream better.

Alternatively, a great way to target roots is through drip irrigation systems which use minute amounts of water. These have been used regularly in agricultural settings but can be found more and more in the average green thumb’s garden.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He blogs for pros across the U.S. like  Memphis, TN plumbers.

BEC Green

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