Manage your Watering system
While up to 90 percent of the water used outdoors is for irrigation, having a beautiful landscape doesn't have to mean using a lot of water. Watering by hand is most efficient, but if your home is one of the more than 13.5 million with an in-ground irrigation system, try some of these simple strategies to reduce your water waste and protect the environment.
- Adjust your irrigation system often. Get to know the settings on your irrigation controller. Adjust its watering schedule regularly to conform to seasonal weather
- Play "zone" defense. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for the type of sprinkler; sun or shade exposure; and type of plants and
soil in the specific area. The same watering schedule rarely applies to all zones in the system.
- Inspect your irrigation system monthly. Check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and misdirected spray heads.
- Install low-volume micro-irrigation for gardens, trees, and shrubs. Micro-irrigation includes drip (also known as trickle), micro-spray jets, micro-sprinklers, or bubbler irrigation.
Timing is Everything
No matter what kind of yard or landscape you have, it's important to know exactly how much water your plants need before you turn on the sprinkler. Keeping the following questions in mind when you do water can help you maintain a beautiful and healthy yard without wasting water or money.
When? Avoid watering in the middle of the day when the hot sun will evaporate much of the water before it can get to thirsty plants.
How often and how long?
Perennials and shrubs - Test the soil for dryness at the root zone and only water when dry. Water Shrubs and Perennials approximately 30 minutes per week - never more than 1" per week.
Lawns - Water lawns 20 minutes twice a week for a total of 1" per week.
What else? Make sure your irrigation system has a rain sensor that shuts off the system when it rains and allows it to turn back on when it stops.
Remember: A cross control device must be installed on all irrigation systems.