Saving Water in Your Landscape
A great way to help the environment and your wallet is to save water. Here are some tips to saving water in your landscape.
- Check for broken lines, sprinkler heads and valves
- Make sure run times on irrigation clocks are correct for plant material and sprinkler types
- Install rotor type sprinklers (Hunter MP Rotators) instead of fixed spray sprinklers
- Adjust sprinkler head to avoid overspray
- Install ET (Weather Sensing) based irrigation controllers
- Irrigate early in the morning to avoid evaporation and increased soaking of soil
- Check line pressure in irrigation systems to assure sprinklers are operating at desired specifications (avoid misting)
- Let grass grow a little longer, this will create shade for the soil below to hold more moisture
- Run cycle/soak programs on your irrigation system for those hard to water areas
- Install check valves on slopes
- Consider converting your overhead irrigation to drip irrigation for all non-lawn areas.. This concentrates the water where it needs to be (around the plant root ball) while eliminating excess runoff and evaporation.
Here are some more ways to save and more details
- Mulch, Mulch, Mulch! Add a two to three inch layer of mulch around shrubs and trees to reduce evaporation.
- Aerate. If you have a lawn, aerating at least once per year, twice if possible, will save you water by allowing more water to flow through.
- Add a granulated soil conditioner to the lawn to help break up compacted soil particles which helps your lawn breath, allowing more water to go through.
- Water early in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and the sun isn’t as intense. Thus, more water will penetrate your plants instead of evaporating into the air. The best time is between 4:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
- When hand watering, make sure to place your nozzle near the base of the plant instead of above the plant where water is wasted wetting the foliage.
- Water lawns deeper instead of more frequently when it gets hotter. You should have your timers set to water only until your lawn reaches the point of runoff. After that no additional water can be absorbed. Deeper watering encourages the roots to go down further to chase the water which results in less heat stress on the roots.
- Raise the mowing height on your mower. Taller grass cools and shelters the roots below helping to reduce the need for more frequent watering.
- Make sure to pull weeds as needed to reduce competition for water and feed your garden at least quarterly to help your plants stay healthy and strong.
- Add a granulated soil polymer to potting soil when planting in containers. It expands when watered, holding water in the soil longer.
- Leave a two-inch space between the top of the soil and the rim of your container so that there is enough room for holding water without flowing down the sides of your pot. Place a layer of mulch or bark on top of the soil to help retain moisture.
And remember, you don’t have to give up your dream yard in order to save water; today’s advancements in irrigation technology paired with a water saving strategy is all you need.