Check the weather forecast. If rain is forecast, hold off on watering your garden. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure it has a moisture sensor to avoid automatically watering when the garden has received enough rainfall.
If you do need to water, try to do this before 10am and after 4pm to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Instead of watering the entire garden, just water the plants that need it. Many plants are much tougher than you think and will go for quite long periods without additional watering. This also has the effect of training your plants to be more resilient. Less frequent watering forces roots down to find water, making the plants less reliant on surface water and better able to cope with hot, dry days.
Experiment with watering less to understand the impact on the plant and adjust your watering frequency and amount to suit.
Think about what this means for manual and automatic watering systems. Does your entire garden need watering? Can you zone plants that need more or less water into areas so you can focus watering on the areas that really need it?
The accepted wisdom is you should not
water too often. Giving the lawn a proper drink, less often, encourages
deeper root growth and means your grass will be more able to withstand
heat stress and dry periods.
Did you know that your lawn
mowing practices affect how much water your lawn needs? The golden rule
is never cut your lawn by more than a third of the grass length. Some
people like to leave the clippings on the lawn to form a mini-mulch and
retain moisture longer.