The Diary Of A Green Thumb
Commentary By Danielle McShane Danielle's Rockaway Florist
Did you know that the average American uses approximately 168 gallons of water each day, and enough water to fill two Olympic-size swimming pools each year? Although 80 percent of the earth is covered with water, less than one percent is available for human consumption, and globally, as many as one in six people do not have regular access to safe drinking water. This seems like a pretty big problem to cure, so how can just one person help? Fortunately, there are simple ways to reduce excess water use by making small changes in our lives. The American Water Works Association estimates that Americans can cut their water use by 35 percent by installing more efficient water fixtures and regularly checking sprinkler heads and valves for leaks. Updated irrigation systems can help you save water and money! Be sure to water only your lawn, not the street, sidewalk, driveway or passers-by. Rain sensors can be installed on your automatic sprinklers to override the scheduled watering if adequate rainfall has occurred, and timing devices should be adjusted each season as weather conditions change.
Water your lawn only when necessary by giving it a few deep soakings rather than more frequent sprinkling. The morning is the best time because temperatures are at their lowest, so evaporation is reduced by 30 percent, compared to mid-day watering. An easy way to tell if your lawn is thirsty is to walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, its time to water! Use mulch around the plants and shrubs in your garden, and set your lawn mower a notch higher to preserve moisture and promote deep root growth.
Using a pool cover can prevent up to 90 percent of pool evaporation, and a water-saving pool filter reduces water loss.
If we all work together, conservation can save thousands of gallons of water, per person, each year! Each of us should do our part in saving the environment, because we can make a difference.
Write to us with gardening questions or tips for our readers. DaniellesRock awayFlorist@yahoo.com