The Irrigation Association promotes the efficient use of water on lawns and landscapes throughout the US. They also provide training, resources and certification in sprinkler design, installation, maintenance and auditing of water usage.
To maximize this effort, the association has named July as Smart Irrigation Month. July is typically the month with the highest water consumption, so it is the best time to highlight those practices that will save water.
The Irrigation Association stresses 5 important strategies to save water, save money and provide better results. These strategies are:
- Plant right – landscape and gardens altered to better suit their terrain.
- Invest in an irrigation system
- Water wisely
- Maintain and upgrade your system
- Work with an irrigation professional
You can read more about these strategies at www.smartirrigationmonth.org, but since July is Smart Irrigation Month, it is appropriate to highlight the practices that use water on a more efficient basis. Here are some of the practices that the Irrigation Association highlights. in the section on Water Wisely:
Get in the zone
- Almost all sprinkler systems use a controller to provide water to different zones throughout the lawn and landscape.
- If your controller hasn’t been updated in more than three years, it is a good idea to upgrade to a new controller. This will allow you to set different time schedules per zone to meet the water requirements of the plant material and types of sprinklers in that zone. Different zones will usually require different watering schedules.
Consider soil type
- Soils absorb water at different rates depending on their makeup. Avoid watering more than your soil can absorb. It is a waste of water and it will have detrimental effects to your plants.
Don’t send water down the drain.
- The most common misuse of water comes from sprinklers that water sidewalks, driveways and other impervious surfaces. Having your system checked for efficiency by an irrigation professional will save money on your water bills.
Water only when needed.
- Once thoroughly watered, allow the soil in the lawn and landscape to dry out before watering again. By following this practice, the roots of the plants will grow deeper in search of more water.
Water at the best time.
- Although it will not hurt your lawn or landscape, watering during the heat of the day is not an efficient practice as much of the water will be lost to evaporation. The best time to water is early morning. Avoid watering in the late afternoon to evening as this may increase the chance for disease development.
Water is a precious resource and the supply is not endless. Make sure your sprinkler system is working at peak performance and water wisely.