Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

Saving Water in the Garden

Saving Water in the Garden Sign Design

The newest sign in our Garden Sign collection is designed by National Geographic Scientific Illustrator Jose Miguel Mayo and demonstrates tips and tools for saving water. 

View all our Garden Sign Designs.

Tips for Saving Water in the Garden

Plant native and drought-tolerant plants. Learn more at native plant organizations like California Native Plant Society.

For newly planted seeds and seedlings, water less deep and more frequently to keep the soil surface constantly moist. For more established plants, water less frequently, but deeper to encourage deep roots.

Water during the morning or late afternoon hours to reduce losses from evaporation.

Apply 3 or more inches of mulch (like straw) to hold moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps control weeds that compete with plants for water. Add compost to help soil retain water longer.

Learn to assess soil moisture with the squeeze test: Dig down a few inches and grab a handful of soil. If the soil easily sticks together in a ball your moisture level is probably fine. If the soil can't form a ball it is most likely time to water.

Tools for Saving Water in the Garden

Use a hose faucet timer.The Garden Classroom's Rainwater Harvesting System

Install water efficient irrigation devices such as drip irrigation or soaker hoses.
We love Dripworks for all your drip irrigation needs. They offer a discount to school gardens and loads of advice.

Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose.

Use a rain gauge to measure how much rain water your garden has received. Water less after a rain.

Install a rain barrel or rain water catchment system. See GrowNYC and HarvestingRainWater.com for great resources on rainwater harvesting.

Use a dipping bucket for kids to easily fill their watering cans. Collect bottles to make watering cans.

 

More water conservation tips from the UCSC Farm & Garden For the Gardener Publications.

And even more tips from Oprah!

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Rachel PringleSenior Director of ProgramsEducation Outside

Life Lab has been the most innovative and relevant organization in this field. From providing the best curriculum to their cutting edge professional development, we have relied on Life Lab as our go to organization for support, ideas, and collaboration.

Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps

Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.

Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary

Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.

Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom

Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.