Smart Irrigation Month: Join the Party!

Smart Irrigation Month 2014It’s time to celebrate! July is Smart Irrigation Month – a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. And while we love talking about sensible lawn care, we also believe that every month represents an opportunity for property owners to be smart about their watering habits.

Using water wisely is not only the right thing to do, it has many benefits, including lower utility bills, protected community water supplies, and other environmental benefits like healthier green spaces. So what are some ways you can make a difference during Smart Irrigation Month? Take a look at some of our top tips:

Plant the Right Way

  • Consider your lawn and landscaping conditions (as well as your local climate), and then choose the plants that will thrive in those conditions.

  • Don’t forget to mulch! Using 2 to 4 inches of mulch helps reduce evaporation and moderates soil temperatures. It also improves water penetration and helps control weeds.

  • Save your planting for spring or fall, when temperatures are cooler and watering requirements decrease.

  • Aerate your lawn (and around trees) at least once a year. This helps water travel down to the roots faster.

  • Whenever you plant something, turn and cultivate the soil and add fertilizer or compost to improve moisture retention. Your plants will be healthier and require less water to stay strong.

Install an Irrigation System

  • Although an automated irrigation system might seem like an extravagance, it’s actually one of the best ways to keep your lawn healthy and looking great while minimizing water waste.

  • Choose a system that will allow you to adjust the amount of water applied to different areas. And install extra connections, even if you don’t need them at the time. It’ll be less expensive down the road when you want to expand your landscaping.

  • Invest in “smart” controls that will automatically adjust watering patterns according to soil moisture, rain fall and evaporation.

  • Resist the urge to cut corners and buy the cheapest system possible. By choosing the best components within your budget, you will minimize future maintenance and total lifetime costs of your system.

  • Make sure you check your water pressure before you choose your sprinkler system, as it can dramatically affect performance.

Watch the Watering

  • If you have an irrigation system, customize your watering schedule according to your sprinkler type, sun exposure and soil. The type of soil you have affects how quickly water will be absorbed. Overwatering will result in runoff and waste.

  • Don’t water too much. You need to saturate root zones and then let the soil dry. Too much water can lead to disease and fungus, weed growth and shallow roots.

  • Don’t water during the heat of the day, as you can lose up to 30 percent to evaporation. Water when the sun is down or low, and when winds are calm and temperatures are cool.

  • Water more often for shorter periods. For instance, instead of watering for a solid 30 minutes, set your system (or your watch) and water at 10-minute intervals. This will allow your soil to absorb more in between watering periods, and reduce waste and runoff.

Contact Us

There are lots of things you can do to be smart about your watering habits. If you would like to know more about Smart Irrigation Month (and improve your lawn and landscaping at the same time), please give us a call at (317) 259-9222. We’d love to help!