By now everyone has heard about not running the sprinklers in the sunny daytime. More water evaporates that way and goes to waste. At the same time, watering in the evening risks the plants staying damp all night and getting a fungus. The very early morning is the best time to run sprinklers.
On the other hand, sprinklers aren’t the only way to get water to your grass and plants.
In 1998, I had a garden in the yard of a rental apartment. The landlady paid the water bill and wasn’t going to pay for watering a garden. Two weeks after I planted the garden, we entered a six-week drought. I dug irrigation trenches in the garden so that water running in at one end flowed throughout the garden.
Then I went to the hardware store and bought a long length of fat hose. I connected it to the drain hose of the washing machine and drained the water from the washer out the back door and into the garden. (At that time, I used those ceramic laundry disks, so there was no detergent in the water.) The garden survived the drought.
Another good source of water is a rain barrel. As the name implies, it captures rainwater in a barrel for later use. YouTube and eHow have videos and instructions on how to make a rain barrel. You need a food grade fifty-five gallon drum, screen, two spigots and some tools. You can also buy them readymade at places like Lowes. The rain from the barrel can be hand poured, or fed into irrigation ditches.
You can use rain barrel water to wash the car, and if not needed outdoors, to flush the toilet. My grandmother used it to wash woolens.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.