Conserving water is very important. When you garden, it become even more so as you do not want to lose expensive plants due to lack of water. Here are some tips on getting needed moisture to your garden in a practical, conservative manner.
Use mulch. Mulch is effective in keeping moisture in the soil, and is also great on keeping down weeds. There are different kinds of mulch, organic such as wood chips, hay, grass clippings and leaves, as well as inorganic material such as rubber chips, plastic sheets and carpet remnants.
Watering in the early morning or early evening if possible. Watering mid day can result in water loss due to evaporation.
Concentrate water at the root zone, where the plants can use it. If it is muggy, constant water on the leaves tends to promote powdery mildew.
Watch the weather reports. If rain is expected, only spot water the plants, hanging baskets and containers that really need it, and allow Mother Nature to help out.
If using a sprinkler, watch the pattern of moisture. Move the sprinkler if it is watering pavement and not plants.
Search for hardy plants and drought tolerant plants to lessen your watering needs.
Accept the fact your lawn may go dormant during summer and not look like the neighborhood golf course.