The sad fact is that most people over water their yards, not because they plan to do it, but because they don’t understand the watering needs of their landscape. They don’t make adjustments to their irrigation systems every year as they should, instead they simply let them run as they’ve done in years gone past.
This can be a huge drain on the drinking water available in our drought stricken state of California. In fact, according to some sources over 50 percent of all drinking water is used on landscape irrigation every summer.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a landscape engineer to do your part. You do have to understand some basic information about your landscape though.
- Different plants have different watering needs.
- Sprinkler systems don’t’ always deliver the right amount of water to every area of your landscape.
- Soils hold water at different rates depending on their composition.
- Mulch can make a huge difference in plant watering need.
- The temperature and amount of direct sunlight a plant get affect the need for water because of loss due to evaporation and transpiration.
Our qualified staff can help you understand all of these elements and how they affect your particular landscape. We can also adjust your system so it delivers the precise amount of irrigation that your lawn needs to thrive.
The biggest fallacy in landscaping is that you need to water your lawn every day for it to look lush and beautiful. In fact, watering too often can actually weaken your grass and make your lawn look worse. Watering every day encourages the development of shallow root systems and grass that is easily damaged and susceptible to disease. Watering every three to four days deeply encourages roots to dig further into the ground and take up nutrients that they normally wouldn’t reach.
- Grass roots need air just as much as they need water. Overwatering promotes shallow root growth as the roots stay near the surface to get the air they need.
- A good rule of thumb is that a yard needs one inch of water every week to thrive. Whether you need to run your irrigation system will depend on the amount of precipitation that you’ve gotten during the week.
- Set your automatic sprinkler system to complete watering before 6 a.m. This will allow you to use other household appliances like the shower, dishwasher and clothes washer without the loss of pressure that may occur while using all systems simultaneously.
- Set your mower blade to between 1.5 and 2 inches in height. The added length of the grass will help prevent evaporation and keep the grass root cool.
Don’t be an overwaterer. If you don’t already have them, add rain sensors to your current system to keep your watering to a minimum. Have your irrigation system tuned up every season to make sure your lawn is getting the optimal level of water and developing strong, healthy plants that you can enjoy year round.
For more water saving tips, visit Water Usage 101.