May is the perfect month to nail down your summer watering strategy and program your sprinkler system to deliver the right amount of water to your plants. By watering wisely, your lawn and landscape will thrive.
Using water wisely means using it for important needs and activities that bring value to our lives. We live in a semi-arid environment where water is a limited resource. City Council approved water-wise rules to support the smart use of water in our community and ensure a reliable water supply for the future.
Here are three steps to water your lawn and landscape wisely this summer:
Step one: water the right number of days per week.
Lawns need less water when it’s cool and more when it’s hot. Take advantage of this by watering twice per week in May. As the weather warms in summer, water three times per week. Implementing our water-wise watering schedule will maximize your savings and your lawn’s health.
Now that the water-wise rules are in effect, you can water on the days of your choice. There are no assigned watering days. Also, if it rains you can pause your sprinkler schedule without having to skip a watering day.
Watering up to three days per week in summer can keep most lawns healthy and beautiful. However, it’s important to follow smart mowing, aerating and fertilizing practices.
If watering three days per week consistently presents challenges, consider applying for an allocation plan. This type of plan isn’t for everyone but may provide a solution for sites with extremely sandy soils, smart controllers or very large irrigation systems.
Step two: run your sprinklers for the right amount of time.
Your sprinkler types should determine how long you should run each zone. As shown in the water-wise lawn watering schedule, some sprinklers apply water more quickly than others. Run fixed spray sprinklers for about 20 minutes each watering day. Schedule rotor zones for 45 minutes and multi-stream nozzle zones for 60 minutes. Watering longer doesn’t benefit your grass; it drains past your lawn’s roots.
Use these recommendations as a starting point. Adjust up or down as needed based on your lawn’s condition. If you see water running into the gutter before the watering time is finished, try a cycle and soak schedule. This video or fact sheet will help you learn more.
Step three: schedule your sprinklers for the right time of day.
From May 1 to October 15, run your sprinklers before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. when less water is lost to evaporation.
What if you are installing a new lawn or landscape plants that you’ll water with sprinklers? In that case, apply for an establishment permit. This permit allows you to water more than three days per week and water during the day.
Finally, join us for our new online landscape classes
in May. They’re free and we’ll be covering topics such as the best water-wise plants and grass types, landscape design, vegetable gardening, and low-maintenance landscape projects.
Watering wisely will allow current and future residents of Colorado Springs to enjoy a beautiful landscape, too. Thanks for doing your part to water wisely this summer.