July is Smart Irrigation Month, and we’d like to help your home’s landscape make the grade while also conserving water.
Below are some irrigation tips from several articles to help your landscape look its best during your next backyard barbecue.
A recent article in Homes and Gardens recommends homeowners learn how much water your landscape and soil need.
“The goal is to provide the lawn with between 1-1.5 inches of water per week for cool season grass and 0.5-1 inch for warm season grass, which includes rainfall,’ says Stacie Smith, owner of landscape specialists Smithson Exteriors. “The simplest way to gauge how much water your sprinkler system delivers is by placing a washed-out dog or cat food can on the lawn when watering. Measure the level of water in the can every 15 minutes. When you get to the desired inch level for your type of grass, record the amount of time that you watered.”
The Associated Press recommends watering during the morning, which allows the water to seep into your landscape’s root systems before the sun gets too hot and causes the water to evaporate.
The AP also suggests:
- Capture and reuse water: Water used for cooking that has not been salted can been reused for irrigation.
- Rain barrels: If legal in your community, you can redirect one of your home’s downspouts to fill a barrel and use that water for irrigation.
- Use native plants: Native plants are more likely to survive your environment with minimal irrigation once established.
- Use mulch or compost: Mulch or compost increases a garden bed’s capacity for holding water.
- Watch the weather: Use a timer with a rain sensor or manually override your watering schedule during rainy periods in your community.
Lastly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has these tips to reduce your outdoor water usage:
- Install a drip-irrigation water system for valuable plants.
- Keep your grass at least three inches high to shade the roots, making it more drought tolerant; maintain your mower’s sharpness for the healthiest grass.
- If you use porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and walkways, the rain can be absorbed to recharge groundwater supplies instead of running off and contributing to erosion.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off your driveway or sidewalk.