Since seven states are now running out of water – meaning that more than half the state is experiencing severe drought – watering gardens is a huge concern. Grass is so pre-drought if you live in a dry state. It’s extremely thirsty. Luckily, there are options other than grass that are just as beautiful.
If you’re growing edibles and are concerned about watering, there are options there as well. As usual, begin with good soil – it will hold water AND drain well. Not too sandy and not too dense (like clay). The easy answer (always my favorite) is to add compost early and often. Soil with high percentages of compost hold water better. They just do. Which translates to longer periods between waterings.
Water early in the day or in the evening to prevent waste – water evaporates before it can get to the roots if applied in the heat of the day.
Get as close to the roots of the plant as possible when watering: avoid sprinkling leaves if you can. Installing a drip-irrigation system is better than sprinklers, if you have the knowledge or can rope somebody into helping you. Otherwise, hand water by watering can with no sprinkler head at the base of each plant, or poke holes in a 2 liter soda bottle and bury one every 2 feet in the garden – fill up the bottle to water from roots UP.
Mulch well – this is KEY to retaining moisture, and reducing watering needs. And don’t be tempted to cultivate the soil to remove weeds. It just brings moist soil to the surface to dry out quicker. Smother those weeds with more mulch.
PS: states in the most danger of running out of water include Arizona, California, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas