The Secret to Water-Efficient Landscapes: Build Healthy Soil

As the weather turns warmer and the days get sunnier, you may find yourself, like many of us, spending more and more time working on your landscaping, gardening, and enjoying some time in nature. It’s a great feeling to see your hard work and sweat-equity pay off in the form of a beautiful outdoor oasis. But before you start planning, planting, and pruning, you may want to start by working on your soil. Healthy soil absorbs water easily, drains well, and retains moisture. Meaning you won’t have to run the sprinkler as often to keep your landscape looking vibrant and beautiful in our drier summer months. By adding compost to your landscaping, you’ll conserve water, a precious natural resource, while lowering your utility bill and giving your garden vital nutrients all at the same time.  

The best way to improve soil health is to add the right amount of compost to your garden or lawn before planting.  

Mix in compost before:  

  • Planting lawns and non-native perennials, trees, and shrubs 
  • Replanting annual beds every year (like a food garden or petunia patch) 
  • Replanting after dividing perennials 
  • Repotting container plants 

It’s important to add compost to the entire planting bed. Thoroughly mixing compost deep into the soil helps provide water, air, and nutrients to plant roots. Use a rototill to mix compost into large areas where digging isn’t practical. 

The Nitty Gritty: How Much Compost Will You Need?

Learn more about water-efficient gardening and access other tips, tools, and rebates to help people preserve our region’s water for future generations at savingwater.org.