Most of us are well aware that Maui is currently experiencing a dry spell. Because we are so dependent on mother nature for water, the lack there of is reason enough to conserve as much of this precious resource as possible. As major participators in the green industry, we feel there is a need to spread some basic knowledge in practicing more environmentally friendly landscape methods in your yard and garden. We need to start being smarter with our water usage today so that our children can enjoy our beautiful island as is tomorrow.
Here are few reminders and tips to conserve water and also help lower your water bill, from small things to the larger picture:
• Install a rain sensor on your irrigation system. Even if you live in a dry area.
• Water your landscape in the early morning or later evening, NOT mid-day.
• Use Mulch! It conserves soil moisture, builds soil quality by adding organic matter, prevents weeds and looks good. Cinder is not a mulch.
• Do not leave bare area’s exposed. This contributes to top soil erosion. Hydro-mulching is a cost effective solution, this covers the area with a special paper mulch solution that can be used with or with out seeds. Cover crops work well too.
• Design your irrigation system, don’t just build it. Consider calling help to Design/Install it for you.
• Use drip irrigation, switch from sprayers to drip. Drip irrigation works low to the ground and delivers water to the plants roots efficiently.
• New nozzle technology today saves more water than yesterday’s nozzles. Look-up Matched Precipitation Rotators or Rotary Nozzles online.
• Have your irrigation system checked periodically, every other month for problems. Check your hose washers and use teflon tape on all hose connections.
• Water your plants thoroughly every 2-3 days instead of a little bit each day, this encourages deep, strong roots.
• Plant smart. Consider your micro-climate when designing your garden. Plan your plants in groups according to their water/sun needs. Also, think about how big the plant will be when fully grown.
• Consider replacing thirsty plants with drought tolerant ones into your yard and garden. Many native hawaiian plants as well as xeric plants (cactus, succulents, etc.) will require less water and still look healthy during drought conditions.
• There are new methods of water catchment that uses innovative ways to store water as well as enhancing your outdoor living space. Go to: www.aquascapeinc.com and look up “RainXchange System” for examples.
• Utilize the “Grey Water” that drains from the washing machine to water banana clumps, a ginger/heliconia patch, or the lawn. And buy laundry detergents that are low in Phosphates for safer and better run-off water.
• We must be concerned not only about watershed but also water run-off. If you are using herbicides, mix according to the label. Stronger solutions are unnecessary. Toxic run-off affects us all, please spray consciously!
• Plan your landscape so that it can absorb as much water as possible during heavy rainfall and safely let excess water flow into and thru your property.
If you need help with proper landscaping consultation’s or services contact us at: [email protected]. We hope that this information may contribute to preserving more water and help encourage a greener Maui, Aloha.