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We are all aware that water conservation is an important issue. However, many people try to conserve water by watering lawns and gardens less often, or at hours when there is less evaporation likely to occur.

The key to effectively using water in an ecologically responsible manner is to change the types of grasses and vegetables that we grow. Choosing crops that require less water is a more practical way to use water for gardens, which is a renewable water source. The water that is saved can be diverted for more effective conservation and management of non-renewable water uses, such as industry and consumption.

These are some vegetables that you can grow that require less water to maintain.

1. Tomatoes- Tomatoes generally require less water, but there are also drought-resistant varieties available, such as “Heatwave.”

2. Squash- Squash has a lower water-content per fruit than most vegetables, so it requires less water to grow them.

3. Black-eyed peas- Not only do they produce a large volume and have low watering needs, black-eyed peas are also very healthy and nutrient-rich.

4. Snap beans – Snap beans require less plants to produce a large yield of product, and due to their deep-rooting system and size of the stalks and leaves, they require much less water.

5. Mustard greens- Mustard greens are one of the high-nutrition greens that bear a large crop but doesn’t require a lot of watering. Like spinach, they love dry, sandy soil.

6. Herbs- Herbs add flavor and aroma to your life, grow a large amount in very little space, and have low watering needs. In fact, too much water can damage them.

In general, pick plants that have a high-yield per plant, and deep root systems. Plant vegetables that have similar watering requirements in the same area, and add a layer of mulch to keep soil moist and prevent run-off and erosion.

Instead of daily watering, deep-water them a couple of times a week, or use a system of drip irrigation so the water goes down where it is needed instead of running off.

Another factor in making a home garden that is environmentally responsible lies not only in what you grow, but how you grow it. Intelligent garden layout and planning are the other half of the equation.

By planting your garden in such a way that the water stays where it is needed and useful, you help prevent the problems of run-off and soil erosion, which can damage the ecosystem.

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