Smart Irrigation Month
Though this Smart Irrigation Month Web site promotes installing irrigation systems, it also has good, practical tips for water conservation. One section is "Plan Right and Plant Right To Save Water. Plan your landscape carefully to save water and money." Another section advises: "Use turf or plant species appropriate to the climate whenever possible. Practice 'hydro-zoning' by grouping plants with similar water needs close together. Confine non-turf plants to plant beds to make it easier to water lawn areas."
Tool or Gardening Product
Stout's Backsaver Grip
This triangular, black device isn't sexy but it definitely works, providing leverage that makes it easier for me to lift shovels full of mulch or soil. The Backsaver Grip attaches to the long handle of a shovel, broom, rake, or any long-handled tool. I hold the grip in my left hand, ease the shovel into the mulch pile, and push the handle down with my right hand to lift the load. Much easier than a direct, back-breaking heave-to. An Ohio State University ergonomic study found that Stout's BackSaver Grip (retail $12) as well as the Backsaving Handle (retail $20) effectively reduced lower back strain and injury resulting from using shovels and rakes. Both handles significantly reduced twisting movement, twist angle, and flexion angle while shoveling, and flexion while raking. See these tools at: http://www.backsavergrip.com/.