Tips to Celebrate Smart Irrigation Month
The following four steps from WaterSense can help ensure your irrigation plan and system is designed to minimize water loss.
Run Shorter Cycles More Frequently
Instead of running sprinklers for a set duration of fifteen or twenty minutes, implement a cycling and soaking strategy where you apply water in multiple shorter cycles. Try three or four 5-minute rounds with time in between so the water can soak into the landscape. By allowing the first soaking to be absorbed into the landscape, it makes it easier for subsequent cycles of water to permeate the soil down to the root zone. This will help avoid runoff. Your plants (and their healthier root systems) will thank you.
Incorrectly installed irrigation systems can also cause water waste. Another common problem is when irrigation systems are not programmed correctly. For example, watering your landscape while it's raining or during the hottest time of the day can result in runoff and evaporation. Consult the WaterSense Water Budget Tool to determine the best plan for your landscape and watering needs.
Smart Technology Knows When to Water
Incorporate a smart-watering plan to maximize the benefit of irrigation. Install a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which is like a thermostat for your landscape. It senses when watering is needed. When seeking help from a professional, look for professionals certified by WaterSense labeled professional certification programs. They will have the skills and training required to design, install, and maintain a smart irrigation system.
Hydrozones Protect Plants, More Water Efficient
Water-smart landscapes require proper maintenance and should incorporate plants that take into consideration sunlight, soil and overall climate of the landscape. Create a landscape that has curb appeal and is easy to maintain.
When updating your landscape consider the type of plants and how they are grouped. Place plants with similar watering requirements together. You’ll save water and can ensure plants receive the correct amount of watering. Additionally, a hydrozone can promote overall landscape health as you’ll be better able to protect plants from over-watering or under-watering. For example, separate water intensive shrubs, such as Hydrangeas, from more drought tolerant plants such as Echinacea or Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan). The WaterSense Water-Smart Landscapes Guide provides additional tips, tricks and recommendations for a healthy and water efficient landscape.
The potential for erosion and runoff is much greater when slopes or hills have a steep grade within the landscape. If slopes cannot be avoided, install plantings with deeper root zones such as native ground covers and shrubs to provide stabilization and prevent erosion.
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This July take stock in your irrigation plan for your landscape and get more tips from the WaterSense website.