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Outdoor Water Tips

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​Living in Metro Vancouver means we’re fortunate to live in a temperate climate. However, we often turn to water as a tool we can always rely on while it’s actually a limited resource that isn’t always the best option for our needs. From cleaning the car to watering outdoor plants to maintaining decks, the following tips help reduce use of treated drinking water for outdoor activities and offer alternatives to common habits.​​​​​

Lawn TipsGarden Tips

 

 

<div class="ExternalClass7E350F5A90E0431EA28D0E2517C339FC"><p>Choose<strong> plants that love dry heat</strong>  like tomatoes, basil, beans, melon, eggplant.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/heat-plants.jpg, Heat plants https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/heat-plants.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassC91B23B440B84C8A8033A79C26ABBBB7"><p><strong>Use grow bags</strong> on trees to deliver water deep below the soil surface and encourage root growth during dry conditions.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/drip-bag.jpg, drip bags https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/drip-bag.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass7B39E3990BAC4D91B4CC358A8913A71F"><p><strong>Plant in wetter seasons</strong> like spring and fall, not during the watering restrictions (May to September).<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/plant-gardens.jpg, Plant gardens https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/plant-gardens.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass99DBFB88336848C3AA8BDF96837879B7"><p><strong>Mow grass to ankle height </strong> – the shade from taller grass allows roots to establish, helping your lawn retain water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/mow-high.jpg, Mow high https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/mow-high.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassBB01248F49CE4D6692B6BD8C83258B45"><p> Water vegetable gardens with<strong> water saved in a rain barrel</strong> instead of treated drinking water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/rain-barrel.jpg, Rain barrel https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/rain-barrel.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass57D03483104C4EC8883F595F69ACA7E5"><p><strong>Aerate your lawn</strong> in the spring and fall to increase the flow of water to your lawn's roots.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/aerate.jpg, aerate https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/aerate.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass9B1BE54200444C099B6CACAC126C577C"><p><strong>Apply lime</strong> in spring and fall to adjust acidic soils to a neutral pH that protects grass from heat and lack of water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/lime.jpg, use lime https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/lime.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass54EEFBBF85BB45DC803B7469C5446F8F"><p><strong>Sweep</strong> driveways, decks and sidewalks <strong>with a</strong><strong> broom</strong> instead of using a hose. A 15-minute clean could use 675 litres of water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/use-broom.jpg, use broom https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/use-broom.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassE3C06EFB8B3A4BDCAA9D6D1B024DF5D6"><p> <strong>Adjust your irrigation controller</strong> as the seasons, weather, and watering restrictions change.</p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/irrigation-schedule.jpg, Irrigation Schedule https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/irrigation-schedule.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassA851CF3F0BE244F2AC207E45D615F51C"><p><strong>Save fall leaves</strong> in an old garbage can or tarp to keep them for use as mulch in the spring.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/save-dry-leaves.jpg, Save dry leaves https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/save-dry-leaves.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass2CF77CEF600245A3B29D0CE1ED9CD3D3"><p><strong>Remove thick thatch </strong>in late springe or early fall to let water reach grass roots.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/thatch.jpg, Remove Thatch https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/thatch.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassAB694DB0DA0B403C81A057F30F84C687"><p>Walk around your property to <br> <strong>look for spongy ground or pooling </strong>where leaking pipes might be hidden. If detected, call a plumber.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/outdoor-leaks.jpg, Outdoor leaks https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/outdoor-leaks.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass0BACADD67B224FF4A2DA07EF53ECD775"><p><strong>Overseed with micro clover</strong>. Micro clover lawns stay greener than traditional lawns through summer dry periods and are generally unaffected by wet winters.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/clover.jpg, Clover https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/clover.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass9B5167357DF541D8BB8E7DE17F2F0C0F"><p><strong>Plant species native</strong> to our region. They are better suited to our climate, and can often thrive on rainfall alone.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/native-plants.jpg, Native Plants https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/native-plants.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass9E37A6DD29644BF8A6FCBBC743CB24F7"><p>Use a<strong> soaker hose to water</strong> deeply at the root, reducing water runoff.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/soaker-hose.jpg, Soaker hose https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/soaker-hose.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass7F8CB9C21CFD46C8AF8E257A74FB9055"><p> <strong>Group plants</strong> with similar watering needs to avoid overwatering those that don't require much water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/group-plants.jpg, Group plants https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/group-plants.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass43E2BF5BA10646EB9BC5DBB11AB0FF7C"><p>Wash windscreens, windows and headlights for safety,<strong> using a bucke</strong>t. For heavy-duty jobs, use a commercial car wash that recycles water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/dusty-car.jpg, Dusty care https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/dusty-car.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass994C551040614D219A655512BA87AEA9"><p><strong>Install a shut-off nozzle</strong> on your hose to ensure it only runs when in use. ​An average garden hose delivers around 45 litres of water each minute.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/hose-valve.jpg, Hose valve https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/hose-valve.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass7EE9A21E35314715B5ECB5C27324BE8E"><p><strong>Weed regularly</strong>. Weeds can establish roots that compete for nutrients and water.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/weeding.jpg, Weeding https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/weeding.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass2305FBA151AF46E2AEF8378247E915A0"><p><strong>Know how </strong>to turn off your property’s water. This could save thousands of litres of water if a pipe breaks and prevent further damage to your home.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/shut-off-valve.jpg, Shut off valve https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/shut-off-valve.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass079CA4554E0944DFB1BAB1E884F6383D"><p><strong>Overseed</strong> with a low-maintenance lawn seed mixture. Plan to overseed at least a month before the start of watering restrictions to give new life to patchy lawns and add thickness to healthy ones.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/overseed.jpg, Overseed https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/overseed.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassAE03BAAACAD046AC9727CAF152C7066F"><p>Put leaves and bark mulch around shrubs and trees to <strong>hold in moisture </strong>and slow evaporation.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/mulch.jpg, Mulch https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/mulch.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassECEEEA4C1BA24674A392EBA2E461E472"><p>Pull planter boxes <strong>into the shade</strong> so they won't dry out.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/planter-box.jpg, Planter box https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/planter-box.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass2657116DC1AF458B83ACD6AF8FE56AB4"><p>An <strong>hour a week</strong> of watering or rain is all you need for a healthy lawn. It allows moisture to soak into the soil and builds strong roots.​ Overwatering drowns roots and encourages weeds.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/timer-hose.jpg, Timer hose https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/timer-hose.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass6078A2F9D7024FFB88F52D10CF5075C7"><p><strong>Position your sprinkler </strong>so it only waters your lawn and plants, not driveways or sidewalks.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/water-lawn.jpg, water lawn https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/water-lawn.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassDA9876EE922A4032BA06216933BD3150"><p> <strong>Replace broken, bent, or stuck sprinkler heads</strong>. One broken sprinkler head can waste thousands of litres of drinking water by spilling/spraying water onto sidewalks and driveways.</p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/broken-sprinkler.jpg, Broken Sprinkler https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/broken-sprinkler.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass816CBFD32C384EBD834F6047A0728703"><p><strong>Let your lawn go golden and dormant </strong>in the summer. With proper preparation and care, its green will return with autumn rains.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/gold-lawn.jpg, Lawn gold https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/gold-lawn.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass1526FA16E840422CB00164CC674EEDA7"><p>Flush irrigation systems before winter to get rid of any lingering water that might freeze and crack pipes and sprinklers.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/flush-irrigation.jpg, Flush Irrigation https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/flush-irrigation.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassD26511487E1C40D5982C533A144FC75F"><div><p>Program irrigation systems to water deeply but infrequently, within the regulated times.<br></p></div></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/water-deep.jpg, Water Deep https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/water-deep.jpg
<div class="ExternalClass6F295C5517874002A89ECA05A9A4EB97"><p>Try turf alternatives like micro clover, tapestry lawns, moss lawns, and sedum mats. Find a low-maintenance, waterwise alternative that suits you using the<a href="http://www.growgreenguide.ca/" target="_blank"> Grow Green Guide</a>.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/turf.jpg, Turf https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/turf.jpg
<div class="ExternalClassB8D0E1F44D5C4D7F8F743C8014293643"><p><strong>Leave grass clippings</strong> on your lawn after mowing. It helps reduce water evaporation so you can water less often.<br></p></div>https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/grass-clipping.jpg, Grass Clippigs https://metrovancouver.org/welovewater/PublishingImages/grass-clipping.jpg

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