The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), along with a number of other Chesapeake Bay Program partners in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., is encouraging homeowners to “Plant More Plants” as a way to mitigate stormwater runoff and erosion and ultimately help improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
The message to homeowners is simple: by planting more plants, they not only improve their lawns and landscapes but they also help protect one of our most important resources – the Chesapeake Bay - the largest estuary in the United States.
The Plant More Plants website provides many tips for creating a more eco-friendly landscape. Here are some of the suggestions for conserving water
There are three steps to practical landscape watering: Find out how much water your plants need. Know how much water each part of your watering system applies. Match your watering system output to your plants’ needs. To reduce watering and maintenance, group plants with greater water needs together, and place them in a spot that is naturally moist, such as a low-lying area or at the bottom of a hill. Whether you’re irrigating by hand or using an automatic timer, grouping like with like can simplify your watering sequence.
When is the best time to water? Avoid afternoon watering, which results in a 20 to 25 percent loss of water through heat and evaporation. Watering in the evening prevents evaporation, but it increases the risk of fungal disease and damage from nocturnal insects searching for water. Morning watering is preferred. Avoid watering during the heat of the day, as water will be lost to evaporation. Apply water at a rate of half an inch per hour. Faster application will cause runoff, wasting water and money.
Sprinkler Systems: Are you overwatering your yard? Many plant problems arise not from underwatering, but from overwatering. A good way to prevent overwatering is to install rain or soil moisture sensors to override your automatic. With hand watering, you can easily avoid overwatering.
Click here to read more watering tips (pdf file)
For more great tips from Plant More Plants, visit their website.