Friday, May 16, 2008

Conserving Water In Your Garden

Conserving Water

We hear lots of this in the southeast where water is at a premium. For years the rainfall in Atlanta has been “skimpy” at best. It has had a cumulative effect on the area. Last year we received so little rainfall that the state practically shut down for lack of water. One of our lakes is under 12 feet, leaving our city in potential crisis. Thankfully it has rained more frequently during the past few months and things are looking up. With summer approaching, we are faced with another season of having to conserve our most precious natural resource. People around here are looking for ways to save water and still keep their gardens and lawns looking good.

I do spend most of my time decorating and creating on the inside of my home, but in the warmer weather you will find me outside doing exactly the same thing. I now spend my time looking for ways to save water.

I’m toying with the idea of creating some rain collection buckets so I have the water available in case things get worse from here. I’ve also scouted around looking at some new products on the market that “make sense”. Here are a few ideas and new products that I have come up with.

I first saw Pennington Smart Seed on television a few weeks ago. This
grass seed uses 30% less water. I have a few sections in the backyard that could use grass. I’m going to try this seed and see what happens. I typically wait to plant seed until the fall but I can’t go all summer looking at the bald spots. Water friendly grass seed……I like it.

I’ve notice that Home Depot is converting many of their plants to potless. You take them home, remove the plastic and stick them right into the ground. It's environmental smart and much easier to do. Now you don't have to collect all the plastic pots and throw them away.

Last week, we had rain and lot’s of it. Under these conditions it's such a good feeling to see a saturated ground and that's something you don’t see very often here. On my way out to do some errands I saw that several people had their automatic sprinklers going full blast. This is in a state that only a few months ago was talking about having NO DRINKING WATER!! What are these people thinking? I saw a new product called Vigoro Wireless Moisture sensor that sells for $59.95 retail. It will tell you if you NEED to water by checking the moisture in your soil. It overrides your programmed sprinker system and won’t water if the ground doesn’t need it. I water by hand and don’t have a sprinkler system, but this seems pretty practical to have. I don’t know about any other place, but water costs are on the rise here. Save your money on water and monitor what you truly need.

Also new is the automatic rain monitor also made by Vigoro that sells for $14.97. Add this to your existing timer and sprinkler combination. This senses rainfall and hose water pressure, once again letting you know if your lawn needs water. This is basically a rain monitor and certainly cheap enough. All these new products I've talked about are available exclusively at Home Depot.

Just a few tips on buying outdoor furniture. BUY TO LAST!!! I purchased this set (OK, I am not kidding here), 30 years ago. Made completely out of fiberglass and it has lasted me forever. Every 2 years I spray the four chairs and table with new paint. It still looks like the day I bought it. I originally purchased the set below for $400.00. You cannot kill this stuff. Talk about getting a good buy for your money!!!

This outdoor furniture pictured below was purchased 5 years ago and I paid $465.00 for it. Look at the condition of it. It is shedding it’s skin by peeling off large pieces of rust and it happens to be very hard to repair. A can of spray paint won't help this furniture.

I love the new outdoor wicker which is made to last. The furniture company Thomasville has come out finally with outdoor furniture pictured here. This set sells for $999.00 only at Home Depot, which is twice the price of my outdoor-ready-for-the-garbage set but sometimes you really do get what you pay for!

I have a wicker set (four chairs and table) that have survived the elements for years. When they get tired looking, I give them a quick coat of paint. The “made for outdoor” wicker is even more durable. Next time I go shopping for outdoor furniture, I’m looking for a more durable outdoor wicker.

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  1. Have you found a wireless moisture sensor for sale, or just advertised? I saw a Home Depot ad several months ago, and now it seems no one knows anything about it at my local store. An online search also yields nothing (including Vigoro's own site!)

  2. That's interesting because I definately saw it on the Home Depot web site.

    I saw this one on EBAY. This may be what you are looking for.