Throughout the hot summer months, it is vital to keep gardens and other landscaping watered. However, there are practices that can help conserve water and utilize a free resource: rainwater.
Lisa Johnson is the Dane County Horticulture Extension Agent, and she shares what people can do to save and use rainwater in an effort to conserve water.
Johnson explains that one way to collect rainwater is by placing a rain barrel beneath a downspout on the house. It is important to have a valve on the rain barrel so that water can be released easily for use. The one issue that can arise with this set-up, however, is the presence of mosquitoes. A cover can be placed on the barrel to prevent mosquitoes, or the water can be released often to keep it from sitting too long.
Another method for using rainwater is through rain gardens, according to Johnson. A rain garden consists of an indented section in the ground in the shape of a circle or a tear drop at the base of a downspout. This patch of land is then seeded with native prairie grasses, which create deep channels in the soil to help absorb water.
More information about water conservation practices and other gardening practices can be found at https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/.