Hot Summers and Water

It’s August and we are feelin’ HOT HOT HOT here in the Eagle River Valley – and so are our plants!  While it is important to keep our vegetation watered and happy during these sunny summer days, A LOT of water gets wasted this time of year.  About 30% of household water is used outdoors and over half of it is spent on just lawns and gardens…GASP! But don’t you worry! It is possible to use less water AND keep your yard healthy.  “How?” you ask? The answer is in the soil!

Did you know, soil health is critical when trying to improve water efficiency in our gadens?  It’s true! Healthy soil holds more water meaning you don’t have to break out the hose nearly as often.  It also prevents runoff, saving even more water from washing away. Interested in enriching your dirt? Here are a few helpful tips…

To beef up your landscape’s soil health, try minimizing, or eliminating completely, the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, as these disrupt the delicate balance of the soil food web.  Our garden beds are home to a vibrant ecosystem, one that if maintained, will provide the soil with most of the nutrients it needs to thrive. Harsh chemicals found in pesticides and fertilizers, on the other hand, can damage this important ecosystem, actually causing the need for more plant care and increased watering.

In lieu of the chemical approach, try applying organic, non-synthetic fertilizers like compost tea.  Nutrient-rich and natural, this liquid gold revitalizes the soil food web by supporting the processes that already enrich the world beneath the ground.  Soil treated with compost tea has shown to require less water and synthetic fertilizers, leading to significantly improved plant health AND huge savings on your water bill.  Shout out to our friends at  The GroundUp and the CSU Extension for helping us to understand the importance of healthy soil and please visit their websites for more water-saving techniques and gardening tips!

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