water conservation- do you water your lawn? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 05-29-2009, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in the Twin Cities, MN and have a fairly big yard (0.4 acres 1 block from Mpls. proper). We don't live in a subdivision or anything like that so no HOA rules. But still, I would like my yard to not look brown and dead.

We also have veggie gardens scattered around- and I must water those or the veggies aren't born

I usually try to water every 3 days (unless it rains of course). I water each spot for 20 monutes then drag the sprinkler to a new spot. Still, that is 2-3 horus of watering!

DH gets on my case every time I water. His favorite line is "that is a lot of toilets you could have flushed for all the water you are wasting". What can I say, he isn't a fan of the let it mellow policy

I am wondering how others who are trying to conserve resources handle garden watering. A rain barrel would be one obvious solution, but the upfront cost, and the high odds me getting lazy about it and turning it into a swamp hold me back.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#2 of 9 Old 05-29-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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We don't water our lawn ever. It is a creeping weeds dream! I am leaving the weeds because in the summer when the lawn turns brown the clover, bugleweed and some others (I don't know what they are) stay green! It is amazing the amount of water that a hose uses per minute. When we move plants I will fill a large watering can from the hose and just water the moved plants.

Our front yard is now all mulch and plants and as I was push mowing the back the other day I wondered why I have any lawn at all. It is such a UAV!

We are going to buy 2 rain barrels this summer. The ones we are going to get are only $99 dollars and are quite attractive. You just hook up your hose to it and water like normal.

Last summer I used grey water lugged out of the house to water my veggie plants. (Which I only did when they were little.) This summer I'll use the water from the rain barrel.

Happy gardening!
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#3 of 9 Old 05-31-2009, 02:28 AM
 
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I don't water the backyard at all (except for the veggie garden, of course). The front yard I only water a couple of times a year - and it stays green all spring and summer because of the shade from a giant tree. I highly recommend planting a lovely, fast-growing tree that will give you some nice shade - something that doesn't require too much watering, itself. For us, the occasional (we're in Texas) rain is enough. It's a long-term solution, but it will take a while to reap the benefits. We were lucky. Our tree was already here when we moved in.

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#4 of 9 Old 05-31-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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We don't water the lawn. Sometimes the grass gets brown and crunchy for a few days or weeks, but the beauty of grass is that as soon as it rains, the lawn is green again.

For the garden, we use 1/4" drip tubing, which uses significantly less water than a typical hose. My DH set up a timer system so that we could water late at night to prevent the water from evaporating in the Florida heat. Depending on how much rain we are getting, we water the garden up to 3 times/week for 15 minutes each time, although recently we have not been needing to water at all because we are getting rain almost every day.
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#5 of 9 Old 05-31-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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We would get ticketed if we didn't water our lawn--city law, not HOA.. It is also illegal to harvest rain water here, as it is in most western states. So, I just turned half of my front lawn into a vegetable garden, figuring if I have to water anyway, I might as well get something useful out of it.

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#6 of 9 Old 05-31-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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My husband actually made a rain barrel out of a used food-grade barrel (used to hold vinegar). The barrel itself cost 13 dollars and the parts cost 20. He actually got a load of 35 of them, sold them to our neighbors at cost and then made it into a neighborhood project--- putting them together as a group. They were blue and not so pretty but ours is back behind bushes and several neighbors successfully painted them to match their homes. We had wanted one for years. There are lots of ideas online for how to make them if the money is an issue.ut they were so darned expensive...


Good luck!
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#7 of 9 Old 06-01-2009, 01:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dollysods View Post
My husband actually made a rain barrel out of a used food-grade barrel (used to hold vinegar). The barrel itself cost 13 dollars and the parts cost 20. He actually got a load of 35 of them, sold them to our neighbors at cost and then made it into a neighborhood project--- putting them together as a group. They were blue and not so pretty but ours is back behind bushes and several neighbors successfully painted them to match their homes. We had wanted one for years. There are lots of ideas online for how to make them if the money is an issue.ut they were so darned expensive...


Good luck!
Ooh, I want one of these! I actually want it for my washer water, which I then want to water my lawn with. Where did he find them?

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#8 of 9 Old 06-01-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by springbabes View Post
We would get ticketed if we didn't water our lawn--city law, not HOA.. It is also illegal to harvest rain water here, as it is in most western states. So, I just turned half of my front lawn into a vegetable garden, figuring if I have to water anyway, I might as well get something useful out of it.
That's really smart springbabes! I didn't realize that in the western states you aren't allowed to collect rainwater. How strange is it that you have to water in such a dry area? Do you know if anyone has tried to have that by-law changed?
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#9 of 9 Old 06-01-2009, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP again, after watering last night again, ugg. It is not the grass I care about so much. It is all my dang plants. The veggies I am not willing to stop watering. The perennials maybe I should stop watering and let the non-drought tolerant ones die

We have had such a dry spring. Normally I don't need to water until July, but we haven't had rain in a month.

DH is still not on board with a rain barrel due to its cost and his perception that I will let it get moldy. I am considering collecting shower water, but honestly I only shower once a week, so that doesn't seem like it will make much difference.

How do people collect washer water? Our washer empties into a utility sink, so I could probably just put a bucket in there. Do you colect it all (even the soapy stuff) or just the rinse water?

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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