Blog Action Day 2010: Water from the Sky is Best for Plants

The water in this beautiful alpine lake comes from the sky and
the snow pack, yet still needs some processing before
it's drinkable by humans. Plants on the other hand think
this water is wonderful.

Pure, clean drinking water is something that most of us take for granted, yet almost 1 billion people around the world would love to have just one cup. This year's Blog Action Day theme is Water, and we as gardeners can do our part to help everyone on the planet have a bit more of it. It's much simpler than you might think to use more of what comes from the sky and less of the water that comes out of the tap. Best of all, rainwater is much better for your gardens then tap water, as it contains no chlorine, fluoride or other chemicals used to make our drinking water pure. One of my post's from last year, Waste Not, Want Not: Creating Gardens and Landscapes that Make Best Use of Rainwater, can give you more ideas to help you help save this precious resource.

All of the rain water that flows down our driveway is
filtered through this dry stream bed as
it seeps into the gardens around it.

So how much water does an average family use on their yards in a season?  Well, the number of gallons are all over the board, but the percentage of water used for landscaping versus overall household use is fairly constant, at between 50% - 65%.  That's a huge amount of processed, purified drinking water to use just to satisfy our need to have green lawns, lush flowers, and a nice yard.  Just think if much of that water could be saved for other things or not have to be processed at all. Our resources would not be depleted so quickly, far less chemicals would be used and put back into the water supply, and our gardens and yards would be much healthier. 

How can you make a difference?  Try these simple things to get started:
  • water your gardens and landscapes one less day per week or month,
  • water only when and where your plants need it,
  • use soaker hoses or drip irrigation instead of sprinklers,
  • check your irrigation system for leaks and/or bad timers,
  • use the rain that falls naturally from the sky to water your gardens instead of sending it down the sewers and into the streets,
  • choose water wise and/or native plants that naturally use less water,
  • use rain barrels to harvest water from your roof if your state allows it,
  • replace some (or all) of your lawn with ground covers, perennials and ornamental grasses.
There are almost as many gardeners in the world as there are people without clean drinking water.  If each of us helped just one person somewhere on the planet by changing our watering habits, think of the positive change we would make!

To follow Blog Action Day 2010 on Twitter, check out @blogactionday, or #BAD10. Or, if you want to see the live feed, check out and pledge your support or add your blog post.


  1. As a gardener myself, I appreciate your taking the time to participate in Blog Action Day! If you have a moment, please check out my article on water, our most precious resource!

  2. Great post Kathy! Your suggestions for conservation are really important ones. As gardeners and consumers, we all could do better with our water waste. What a beautiful lake. ;>)

  3. Great suggestions for saving water in our landscapes, Kathy! I'm a big fan of your WWW method; Water only When and Where you really need it.

  4. Hi;
    Terrific post and great tips, too. I am a big follower of the WWW method. I'm the only one in my neighborhood who hasn't installed an in-ground sprinkler system. I use less than half the water that they do. And I still have happy flowers! ;-)

  5. Kathy, wasn't it fun to be a part of Blog Acion today? Thanks for your post - I had not heard of the WWW method, what a great teaching tool! I teach the Master Gardeners here the native plant segment. I really love your photos. Thanks for taking the time to read my post, too.

  6. Hello!
    I think you give great advises and I'm so sensitive to nature and the question of water.
    You have a great chance to live in Colorado. I live in Paris and it's not so easy to garden!
    But, I own an ecological hotel, hotel Gavarni, and believe it or not, it's the first independant green hotel in Paris! I'm so proud of it. Do you have some advices for gardening green in the city?
    If you want to have a look, we have a blog and there is an english version.
    Thank you for reading and maybe helping, and thank you for your blog.
    Amy, from Hotel Gavarni, Paris.


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