9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden

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Water is one of the most critical parts of the garden. Learn how to add water sources to your garden to make watering the plants easier or attract birds and wildlife to your space.

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High on the list of things your garden needs is water. It’s one of the essential resources for growing plants, but it also helps create biodiversity in your yard. Water can draw in beneficial pollinators, encourage an array of wildlife, and support predatory creatures that keep the population of nuisance insects and animals down.

If you’re looking for ways to add water to your garden, whether to make watering your plants easier or attract living creatures, you’ve come to the right place! These nine ideas are great ways to bring additional water sources to your space.

Rainwater Collection System

Instead of running up your utility bill by using municipal water for your garden, you could start collecting rainwater for irrigating. Catching water from your rooftop is the most common method, using downspouts to direct water into collection barrels. To make watering easier, install a spout at the bottom to either fill watering containers, or attach a hose for sprinklers or a wand.

A rainwater collection system can be built using wooden wine or whiskey barrels to add an aesthetic touch to your yard, or you can opt for simple, practical plastic containers. Raise the containers off the ground to create a gravity-fed system.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Water Using Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation, or micro-irrigation, is an efficient method of watering plants drop by drop using a system of hoses or water lines, micro-irrigation tubing, and drip emitters. You can set up systems on automatic timers to run themselves, or you can manually turn them on. Either way, you save yourself a significant amount of time watering.

Watering your garden this way also improves water efficiency because much less water is lost to evaporation since it’s applied to the soil right about the root zone.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Increase Water Use Efficiency with a Soaker Hose

A soaker hose is another method of micro-irrigation, but it’s pretty different than drip irrigation. Soaker hoses look like regular garden hoses with small perforations or pores along the entire length where water seeps out to irrigate plants.

Soaker hoses can be attached to your outdoor faucet, or you can supply water from a rain barrel. Putting a timer on your soaker hose can make watering even more effortless, turning the water off and on when it’s time to irrigate the garden.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Install a Yard Hydrant

If your garden is quite a ways from the hose bib on the side of the house, it might be beneficial to install a frost-free yard hydrant closer to your plants. A yard hydrant taps into the main water supply line before entering the house, providing another outdoor water source.

Having a yard hydrant close to the garden keeps you from dragging long hose lengths all over or hauling buckets of water a long distance. You save time and expend less energy when watering.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Decorate with Japanese Water Bowls

An easy way to add a water source for birds and wildlife is to set out decorative Japanese water bowls in the garden. These low basins are frequently used in Japanese water gardens, made of metal or concrete. They catch rainwater or water from lawn sprinklers, providing a place for deer, rabbits, foxes, and birds to drink.

To help encourage animals to use the Japanese water bowls, plant ornamental grasses or other plants nearby to give them some cover, making them feel safe and secure.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Build a Rock-lined Waterfall and Stream

If you tackle it as a DIY weekend project or hire a professional to install one, a garden stream with a waterfall is a great way to add serenity to your garden while drawing in animals. To keep maintenance low, you can build it with a pump to move water from the bottom to the top and add a self-filtering rock basin to the very bottom of the stream.

You can customize these beautiful water features in size and shape to fit your space, taking advantage of the natural landscape.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Add a Solar Fountain

Solar-powered garden fountains are a fantastic way to add an eco-friendly water source to your yard. Relying on the sun’s rays to power a pump, they don’t need to connect to an electrical outlet, and they are low-maintenance sans the occasional cleaning.

Water cascading through the tiers of a solar fountain brings soothing tranquility to your garden while also encouraging wildlife and birds into the yard to use it for drinking. Fountains are available in stone, plastic, or composite materials made to look like stone making it easy to match your aesthetic and budget.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Give the Birds a Bird Bath

Setting a birdbath out in your garden is one of the easiest ways to encourage winged friends into your yard. A standing water source is used to keep their bodies cool, preen dust, debris, and loose feathers from their plumage, and for drinking.

Opt for a standard pedestal-style birdbath or create your own by setting a large terra cotta saucer on the ground. A bonus of attracting birds to your yard is they help control insects that may threaten your vegetables or fruit trees.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden
Create a Garden Pond

Adding a garden pond to your yard decreases the lawn and garden you need to water while supporting the birds and wildlife. A garden pond provides an ideal habitat for frogs and insects (you want things like dragonflies and bees in your yard) and refuge for deer, bats, raccoons, and squirrels.

Beyond this, it creates a calm, serene space in your yard and garden for you to enjoy.

9 Helpful Ways to Add Water Sources to Your Garden

There are many different ways to make watering your garden easier or draw wildlife and birds into your yard. Options range in simplicity from adding a soaker hose to building a garden stream complete with a rock waterfall. Regardless of your choice, this water “source” will be beneficial in one way or another and well worth the investment.