Landscapers preserve water - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Landscapers preserve water

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October 24, 2007

Valdosta -- As the drought continues water restrictions in Georgia will only get tighter. But landscapers say there are many things you can do to keep your lawns looking good while conserving water.

Lakes throughout the state are drastically low as the drought continues to dry the water supply in North Georgia. And it's affecting residents and businesses all over the state.   "We are not in as bad of shape as the northern end of the state but we still do need to practice conservation," says Mike Allen, Lowndes County Utilities Director.

And landscapers are taking one of the hardest hits. "Drought conditions do put a damper on the gardening business, because who wants to plant something they can't water?" asks Sherri Starling of Southern Gardens and Landscape.

But while they wait for customers to return with the rains, they say there are still many things you can do to preserve water and keep your lawns looking good. Gardeners in drier states should look to purchase drought tolerant plants that need less water to survive.

Adding water retailing soils to your yard can help decrease a plants water needs by 50 percent, and a rain gage sensor will reduce your sprinkler use.  "When it rains, it will stop your irrigation system and decrease your watering meter from running," says Starling.

Landscapers say these tips will help until the rains move in. Experts say we need a lot of it before the state's in the clear. "Just to drop 5 to 8 inches initially just to get us out of where we are at now. But we need a good solid year of typical rainfall to get us back to where we need to be," says Allen.

State lawmakers are asking all Georgians to conserve water until we do. Much of South Georgia has seen rain in the last week but officials say it will only help vegetation not the water levels and supply.

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