Green tips for (not-so) green thumbs

I don’t have a green thumb and I’m often to blame for a leafy death in my home, as I tend to drown my little plants in water. But this week’s featured challenge, Water Works, inspired me to conserve water and break my bad gardening habit.

This spring I not only plan on landscaping my backyard, but xeriscaping. Xeriscaping refers to building a sustainable garden that helps plants survive in dry periods on their own, without watering. This type of garden requires a combination of choosing native and hardy plants, using a yard’s grade to your advantage and making soil as absorbent as possible.

While I can’t wait for the ground to warm up so I can start xeriscaping, I know that an entire garden overhaul isn’t for everyone. So this year, try a couple of these water-saving tricks in your garden instead:

  • Group plants with similar water requirements together. This way, water isn’t wasted on plants that don’t need as much of it.
  • Get rid of weeds. You need not waste water on something you didn’t intentionally plant.
  • Use porous material for garden pathways. It will help prevent run-off and keep water in the yard.
  • Ice your plants. Instead of watering potted plants with a hose, drop a couple of ice cubes in the soil.
  • Don’t cut your grass too short. By adjusting your lawn mower height to 1.5 to 2 inches, your grass will better hold on to soil moisture.
  • Ditch the sprinkler. Get a rain barrel to collect rainwater for your lawn and garden.

Happy gardening!