Save water. Grow vegetables instead of grass.

Fall is the perfect time to plan next year’s micro-urban garden.

September 15, 2015 | By: Jessica Kirk

Micro-urban farming is more than just a hot trend drawing media attention. It’s a great way to save water, too.

garden in full growth
Residents across the Denver metro area, like this customer in Park Hill, are replacing their grass lawns with vegetable gardens.

It’s a simple concept: Residents across the Denver metro area are replacing their grass lawns with vegetable gardens.

The transition requires little effort from homeowners, aside from the water needed to irrigate the garden, said Sean Conway, owner of Micro Farms, a Lakewood startup featured in recent news stories by The Denver Post, 7News and FOX31.

We agree.

“Vegetable gardens require less water than turf-grass lawns,” said Mark Cassalia, conservation specialist for Denver Water. “They also are a fantastic addition to a homeowner’s landscape — reaping the benefits of fresh produce and saving water.”

That water-savings can really add up for all of us. How much?

Vegetable garden
Garden boxes irrigated with drip-systems are an excellent way to not only grow vegetables, but also save water in Denver’s dry climate.

Denver Water teamed with Denver Urban Gardens to track water use at community gardens. The gardens use an average of 11 gallons of water per square foot annually, compared with traditional bluegrass lawns, which can use up to 18 gallons.

The translation: If you convert a 300-square-foot section of your lawn to a veggie garden, you could save 2,100 gallons of water annually.

“As we head into the cooler months, now is a perfect time to decide to install a new vegetable garden,” said Cassalia. “Consider building garden boxes and mulching the garden area this fall in preparation for the spring growing season.”

Whether you hire outside help to do a full-scale conversion to a micro-urban farm, or choose to create a smaller veggie garden on your own, know that you can add water-savings to the list of positive benefits you can reap from growing your own food.

For other ways to change out your lawn, visit denverwater.org/remodelyouryard.