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Water conservation tips

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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 10:17:17-04

HELENA  — As temperatures heat up with the onset of summer, many have again begun to water their lawns.

Recent rains have eased concerns, but drought still looms for some, making water conservation in many areas a must.

In 2021, Helena saw record water use and watering restrictions for the first time in memory.

It’s a good idea to think ahead and remember last year's lessons for conserving water.

For example, take 2 minutes off the watering cycle, make sure your sprinklers are working efficiently and correctly, and when it rains, make sure your sprinkler system is turned off. You can also try a method of cycle and soak, which involves watering less frequently, allowing the roots to grow deeper. These simple ideas can not only save you money on your water bill but ideally, keep us from wasting water.

Another option for saving water is xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is landscaping an area so that it will require little water in comparison to a traditional lawn and garden. Often this can include hardscaping with gravel and stone and getting rid of a traditional lawn, in favor of plants that require less water, such as drought-tolerant and native grasses.

“We are in a drought condition. It's just gonna get worse. We need to use our resources where they really matter and not just watering our lawn. And you can have a beautiful, beautiful landscape that isn't going to be so taxing on our resources,” says Devon Malizia, Landscape Designer at Gardenwerks.

While Malizia says that setting up a more xeriscape-focused landscape takes some time and effort up front, it can be worth it in the long term.

“It just takes a little bit of research and education, speaking to people at your local nursery. They, this is what, they wanna help you problem solve and provide you with all the resources that you need to make a plan for your home for your future,” says Malizia.

If you’re looking for ideas for xeriscaping you can check out Gardenwerks or the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department firewise demonstration garden.