Stewardship Monday: April Showers Bring May Flowers

Spring has sprung and we have finally gotten (some) rain! It is the perfect time to start planting a garden. As you plan your garden, there are many things to consider. Your garden can be designed for many things—to attract certain wildlife, to conserve water, to be pet and kid-safe or to simply be pretty! You can plant your garden with a Steward’s eye, and have a plentiful, colorful spring.

With continued concern about water consumption, having a water-conscious garden can be a particular challenge. Successful design of a garden can save water, money and time! Before you even put seeds in the ground, you can start to prepare for your garden by creating a rain catching system. Rather than allowing rain to drain down the gutter, you may purchase a large barrel and aim your gutters to fill it. The large barrel can be pressurized or used as-is to water your plants or even wash your car. Simple rain catchment systems can be a great way to make the most of spring showers.

Designing a water-smart garden requires some careful planning with consideration for: design and irrigation, climate-appropriate plants, and a good maintenance plan. It helps to do your homework before you begin! Here is one Homeowner’s Guide to WaterSmart Landscaping.

Things to remember about irrigating your garden:

  • Drip irrigation is more efficient than sprinklers
  • The quality of your soil affects how much water it holds as well as what nutrients it has to offer.
  • Different plants have different water needs—you can place plants with similar needs together to make your watering schedule more efficient.
  • Slopes and drainage can influence how and where your water flows.

There are many resources for stewards looking to take care of their gardens and the environment. There is plenty of general advice, as well as regionally-specific recommendations. Even with a small yard or planter box, your design can make a difference for the water and wildlife in your neighborhood, as well as the ecosystems downstream.

What is your favorite plant to include in a garden? How does your garden design affect the ocean?



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