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» Home » Lawn Care

(ARA) - Before you know it, temperatures will start warming up and your heating bills will drop. But with the arrival of spring and eventually summer, people will be spending more on their water bills. Keeping lawns green and flowers blooming takes water and lots of it.

One way to cut the cost of watering your yard, and to get around restrictions, is to harvest the "free" water supply that is available every time it rains. It's always nice when a rainstorm gives your lawn and garden a nice, deep, thorough watering. An added benefit is that rainwater is usually soft and free of minerals, chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals, which is good news for your plants. But if you've ever watched where the rain goes as it comes off your eaves or through your gutters and downspouts, you know that much of it runs off your property and into the sewer.

There are a number of simple, low maintenance steps you can take to make better use of this natural resource. You can plant water loving trees and shrubs, like the willow. Or for an even easier way to make use of rainwater, install a modern gutter system such as Rainhandler, which is actually a state-of-the-art rain dispersal system. Invented by an M.I.T. aeronautical engineer, the system spreads roof runoff in a three-foot-wide swath, meaning 100 percent of the water benefits your lawn and plantings.

"In a home with no gutter system, a trench is created around the perimeter of the home where rain rushes off the roof," explains John Provenzano, a Connecticut builder who uses Rainhandler on all of his Luxury homes. "With a typical gutter and downspout system, much of the rain is often directed off the property. With Rainhandler, 100 percent of the runoff water is converted to a two- to three-foot wide band of soft, rain-sized droplets sprinkling the landscape."

As an added benefit, Rainhandler is self-cleaning and eliminates clogged, over-flowing gutters and downspouts. That means no climbing on ladders and roofs to clean gutters; and in colder climates, homeowners don't have to worry about destructive ice dams from frozen gutters. Most homeowners install the system themselves in about three hours for an average size home. For more information on the Rainhandler gutter system, visit

As you make plans for ways to beautify your yard this summer, here are some additional tips to keep in mind that will help you have a great yard while conserving water:

* Plant more native plants. They are adapted to the local climate and rainfall and can survive without a lot of extra watering.

* Use mulch around plants and trees to help retain moisture and cut down on watering.

* Plant less grass. Keeping a lawn green all summer long takes a lot of water. Why not plant a prairie garden in your front yard or a vegetable garden in your back yard?

* Install a drip irrigation system for flower or vegetable gardens. These systems provide a deep, quenching watering that reaches the roots of plants, giving them the moisture they need with less frequent watering.

* Program your sprinkler system to run only as needed. A couple of longer soaks will be better for your lawn than a short burst of water every day.

For more information on native plants and drip irrigation, visit your local nursery. For more information on the Rainhandler gutter system, visit or call (800) 942-3004. You can also find the system at Abundant Earth online or in the Brookstone Hard to Find Tools catalog.

Courtesy of ARA Content