With the midsummer heat upon us, we are beginning to see a few storms. This rain is good, of course, because this brings some badly needed moisture.
Storms often come quickly, and then some of that moisture does runoff. You're encouraged to try to turn the sprinkler system off. Try to skip at least one watering interval. This will help conserve some badly needed moisture that can be used later during the season.
What about the landscape? One of the best ways to conserve water in the landscape is to use mulch when planting. Whether it's vegetable beds, flower beds, or even permanent shrub and tree beds- it's good to put some mulch down. Mulch comes in different sizes, shapes, and materials. Most of these materials seem to work well. Whether we're talking about weed barrier cloth, stone, or bark mulch- these materials will help to prevent evaporation.
Also, you can plant in the shade when you can. If possible, plant in the shade of trees, buildings, or other structures. If you don't have that option, you can also raise shade cloth. Shade cloth works particularly well in summer when vegetable gardening. Purchase shade cloth with 30 to 40% shade, hang out in such a way that it casts shade on the plants that you want to keep the mid-summer sun off. That sun can cause stress to plants as well as increase evaporation and water use.