Most homeowners overwater their yard, unintentionally wasting money every time they take out the hose or turn on the sprinklers. To raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices, the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month.
Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, while minimizing water waste. Make time this summer to be sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and helping to protect the environment.
Smart Scheduling & Watering
- Today’s irrigation controllers allow you to easily adjust your system’s watering schedule to fit different watering needs.
- Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for sun, shade and wind exposure.
- Consider soil type, which affects the how quickly water can be applied and absorbed without runoff.
- Make sure you’re not sending water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
- Water at the right time of day. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent. The best time to water is during early morning hours.
- Thoroughly soak the root zone (generally within the top six inches of soil for lawns), then let the soil dry. Watering too frequently results in shallow roots and encourages weed growth, disease and fungus.
- Reduce runoff by watering each zone more often for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three, 5-minute intervals with some soak time lets water infiltrate the soil better than watering for 15 minutes at one time.
- Adjust your watering schedule regularly to account for seasonal weather conditions, plant size and other factors. Monthly (or even weekly) adjustments keep plants healthy without overwatering.