KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- The hotter it gets, the thirstier your flowers and garden plants get. All that water can really add up, especially if your lawn needs a good drink as well.
Putting a water meter on your garden hose or spigot is one of the easiest ways to figure out how much you're spending. All you need to do is water your plants and see how many gallons are listed on the meter after one watering. Take that number and divide it by 1000. Then multiply that number by the "price per 1000 gallons" for your area. You can find that number on your water bill.
Now for watering your lawn. On average, a lawn needs about one inch of water per week. Start by figuring the square footage of the lawn you're watering. There are apps for this online, or you can use an old-fashioned tape measure and some math. One inch of water equals about .62 gallons per square foot. Multiply that by your lawn size. For example, 100 square feet needs 62 gallons a week.
Now that you know how much you're using and what you're spending, how do we save on cost?
In your garden beds, add mulch. You can use wood chips, grass clippings or even straw. It will help with weeds that steal water as well as help your soil retain moisture.
Don't overlook compost and don't be shy about spreading it around. It helps cut down on the need for chemical fertilizers and also helps soil retain water.
You can also try "deep watering" to save on H2O. This includes slowly watering plants and beds for around 15 minutes at a time with a slow drip or using a soaker hose. This helps promote deeper root growth where the soil may not dry out as quickly.
Something else to keep in mind is the time of day you water. Morning is the best so plants and leaves can dry off during the day to prevent fungus growth. If you must water in the evening, focus on the roots.
When it comes to what you grow, go for drought tolerant plants that will need less water. Make sure native plants are a part of your landscape. Since they live here already, their watering needs should be minimal.