Green Living Tips – Rain Barrels!
On Tuesday we wrote about reducing your lawn areas by half, and yesterday we blogged about the importance of adding trees to a garden space.
Today our Green Living tip falls into the Water Conservation category… recycle water by adding a rain barrel! Adding a rain barrell to your landscape is a pretty simple project that can be completed in a single day. Did you know a typical 1/2″ rain storm will fill a 50 gallon rain barrel, while a 1″ rainstorm produces 1/2 gallon of water per square foot of roof area? That’s a lot of water to recycle, and lot less water you’ll be paying for from you local water authority.
Rain Barrels come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and the uses are limitless — you can attach a standard garden hose to your barrel, or you can attach a soaker hose. You can also use your rainwater in your watering cans for your containers and pots. Because we love added bonuses here at GardenWise — here’s a good one: rain barrels reduce the amount of water around the foundations of your home.
A company I just started to work with, Gutter Supply, has a lot of options to choose from that will allow you to imagine how nicely you can incorporate a rain barrel into your landscape design.
Green Garden Tip
When people ask, “How can I go green, where do I begin?,” I always have the same answer, “you’ve already begun!” A thoughtful understanding that an outside space can have a positive impact the environment is the best first step to a green garden. Another important step to take is to reduce your lawn area by at least half.
Substitute lawn areas with ground covers that will provide beautiful colors and textures to your spaces. Groundcovers also help retain moisture in the soil and help prevent erosion. Creeping thymes and Creeping Jenny (my favorite) are good choices for sunny spots, and for shadier areas, tiny creeping mints such as Mentha requienii will do well. Black Eyed Susan grown en masse make for an eye-catching and bright display. Some nice low-water choices include Trailing Yellow Dalea and Trailing lantana. Adding stone elements and pourous pavers can help create wonderful garden paths.
Another substitute? Vegetables. A small area dedicated growing your favorite vegetables will transform the most unproductive area of your landscape.
Growing vegetables (and herbs) in pots or containers can be the ideal solution for those with limited space. However, containers can be a great idea for everyone, including those with an abundance of in-ground garden space. There’s so much flexibility in growing veggies in pots! You can move them around to capture the sunlight, or hide them in the shade when it gets too warm. A sudden change of weather? No worries! Just move your containers inside. You can also brighten up your patio or deck with containers of multi-colored vegetable plants and herbs, and or create a rooftop garden and share your produce with family and friends. The biggest “pro?” Nothing compares to the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs — at my house we’re looking for new Eggplant recipes!