As we settle in to the hottest time of the year, we expect to use more water but is it necessary? Have you done everything you can to improve your watering efficiency? Here’s five important water-saving landscape strategies to get the most out of your water use:
1. Check for leaks. Make sure to turn on your system and visually inspect every zone for leaks at least once a month. Something as simple as a missing spray nozzle can waste 12 gallons of water per minute. Minimizing leaks will ensure that the water you pay for is supporting your landscape.
2. Water according to the season. How many days per week are you watering your lawn? In August, watering three days a week should be enough to keep your lawn healthy. And, remember to adjust the number of watering days according to the season. This will help you water only what is needed and reduce overwatering.
3. Water one-half inch each watering day to promote deeper roots and a more drought-tolerant lawn. Not sure how long it takes to water one-half inch? Place an empty tuna can on the lawn and turn on that zone for 10 minutes. Measure how much water is in the can. If it’s one-quarter inch, you will need to water twice as long. Read more about the general rules of watering based on zone type.
4. Reduce water wasted from runoff by using the cycle soak method. Divide the total time it takes to water one-half inch by three. Program your controller for this length of time and then set three start times about an hour apart. By spreading out the watering time into three smaller cycles, you help the water soak into the soil instead of running down the gutter. Learn more about the cycle soad method.
5. Make sure your rain sensor is working. Rain sensors are a crucial part to running your system efficiently and should be checked each every year. Don’t have a rain sensor? Here are three reasons you need one.
Visit the Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road, for information and resources about efficient irrigation - including rebates on water efficient products for your home or business.