July is Smart Irrigation Month
At Hydro-Scape, we believe in 365-day smart irrigating, but July is dedicated to get the word out! Irrigation in the time of drought is not impossible; it just requires the right techniques and some new ways of thinking. We’ve developed a small guide to help you and your landscape through these dry times.
Seven Speedy Tips
There are a number of fairly easy things you can do that will cut down on the amount of water you need for your landscape. Try these:
- Aerate your land. Your lawn and trees will need less water if you poke holes in the soil. This breaks up compacted dirt allowing water to penetrate more easily. The more aeration, the less water needed. Here’s more info about aerating. Turn the soil and add compost when planting new plants. This increases water retention and decreases water use.
- Mulch around trees, bushes and plants. It cuts down on evaporation, controls thirsty weeds and increases water retention. Just 2 to 4 inches will do it! Don’t mulch too close to trunks and stems, it could harm your plants.
- Get in the “Hydro-zone.” If you put plants with similar water needs in the same area, you’ll never over water. Hydro-zoning makes sure that all your plants get only the water they need.
- Plant early (spring) or late (fall). Plants need extra water to establish themselves after transplanting. In the heat of summer, that amount only increases.
- Plant lawns in useful places. Rather than putting grass on hard-to-water slopes (run-off is a HUGE water waster!), plant grass in functional spaces, like flat play areas.
- Throw some shade. Trees, that is! Planting trees turns on your own “outdoor air conditioner”. Shade lowers soil and air temperatures while helping cut down on soil moisture loss.
- Work your yard. Weeding, pruning and just maintaining your law in general helps cut down on the amount of water it needs.
The Skinny on Smart Irrigation
In addition to the practical steps listed above, there are some technical things you can do (and use) to save water while maintaining your landscape.
- Upgrade old, clunky irrigation timers to Smart Controllers and cut down time and water waste.
- Switch from spray to Drip Irrigation for flowers, veggies, trees and shrubs. Less water, perfect irrigation!
- Ditch old sprays and standard nozzles in favor of Efficient Sprays or Rotating Nozzles/High Efficiency Nozzles.
- Go high-tech (affordably!) with Moisture Sensors and Rain/Freeze Sensors. Don’t water when you don’t need to!
- Check out Seven Super Ways to Save During Drought for low-water landscaping ideas.
- Add some areas of Synthetic Turf in your lawn. Simply reducing your lawn space lowers water usage!
Water Wisdom: Making a Little Bit Go a Long Way
Even with these smart irrigation ideas, you’re still using water. It’s important to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your irrigation buck, especially since we’re all under water restrictions.
- Water deeply and occasionally instead of shallow and often. Current restrictions say no more than 2 times per week. That may vary depending on your city.
- Water early in the morning for less evaporation.
- Focus on watering the soil, not the leaves.
- Move container gardens to shaded areas and soak them.
- Do the same thing with your compost heap. It won’t require as much water.
- Make sure you inspect your irrigation system! Replace valves and drip emitters, flush filters, put a new backup battery in your timer system and check for leaks.
If you have an old, outdated system, we are here to help you with information about affordable, water-saving irrigation systems.