KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – The hotter it gets, the thirstier your flowers and garden plants get. All that water can really add up, especially if your lawn needs a good drink too.

Attaching a water meter to your garden hose or nozzle is one of the easiest ways to find out how much you are spending. All you have to do is water your plants and see how many gallons will show on the meter after one watering. Take that number and divide it by 1000. Then multiply that number by the “price per 1000 gallons” for your region. You can find this number on your water bill.

Now for the lawn watering. On average, a lawn needs about an inch of water per week. Start by calculating the square footage of the lawn you will be watering. There are apps for this online, or you can use an old-fashioned tape measure and some math. One inch of water is about 0.62 gallons per square foot. Multiply that by your lawn size. For example, 100 square feet takes 62 gallons per week.

Now that you know how much you are using and what you are spending, how can we save costs?

Add mulch to your garden beds. You can use wood chips, clippings, or even straw. It helps with weeds that steal water and helps your soil retain moisture.

Don’t overlook the compost and don’t be afraid to spread it out. It helps reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and also helps the soil to retain water.

You can also try “deep watering” to conserve H2O. This includes slowly watering plants and beds for around 15 minutes each with a slow drop or a soaking hose. This helps encourage deeper root growth where the soil may not dry out as quickly.

Another thing to keep in mind is the time of day you water. Morning is best to allow plants and leaves to dry off during the day to prevent fungal growth. If you have to water in the evening, focus on the roots.

When it comes to what you grow, choose drought tolerant plants that require less water. Make sure native plants are a part of your landscape. Since they already live here, their water needs should be minimal.

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