HOT SUMMER TEMPERATURES AHEAD

HOT SUMMER TEMPERATURES AHEADWith heat of the summer in full swing, property irrigation water use and costs are increasing. It’s summertime, which means temperatures and as a result, outdoor water use are on the rise. While it’s important to use water efficiently throughout the year, the summer heat requires increased attention to irrigation schedules. In many areas, the amount of water commercial properties uses to sustain lush landscaping spikes in the summer – sometimes two to four times as much as the rest of the year. Most landscapes will require time and/or days added to the irrigation schedule for the summer months. Knowing how much water your system puts out is integral to programming your control. Experts estimate that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. Here are some tips to help keep your water use under control:    Timing is everything… Know how much water your landscape actually needs before you set your sprinkler. Your local utility or landscape contractor can offer recommendations for how much water certain plants need in your region and best times to water. Generally, it’s best to water lawns and landscapes in the early morning and evening, after the sun goes down, because significant amounts of water can be lost due to evaporation during the heat of the day. Tune up your system… Inspect irrigation systems and check for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the sidewalk, street, or driveways. Did you know?  Just one broken sprinkler head can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water over a six-month irrigation season.  Separate your plants into zones… When planting, assign areas of your landscape different hydrozones depending on sun/shade exposure, soil and plant types, and type of sprinklers, and then adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones’ specific needs. This helps you avoid overwatering some areas or under watering others.  Step on it… Grass doesn’t always need water just because it’s hot out. Step on the lawn, and if the grass springs back, it doesn’t need water. An inexpensive soil moisture sensor can also show the amount of moisture at the plant’s roots and discourage overwatering.  Leave it long… Raise your lawn mower blade. Longer grass promotes deeper root growth, resulting in a more drought-resistant lawn, reduced evaporation, and fewer weeds.
About Author: Rudy Larsen