Conserve Water With Landscaping

Effective irrigation will save you money by reducing maintenance costs. Properly maintained landscaping will also prevent runoff into streams and protect the watershed.

How Often Should I Water my Landscaping?

n Water only as needed!

n Limit watering to lawns that are in high-visibility areas.

n Newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials are sus­ceptible to drought, so they should be monitored and watered as needed until their roots are fully estab­lished (2 to 5 years).

n For groundcover and shrubs, water when the leaves are wilted or drooping. If the soil is dry, the lawn should be watered.

n Water soil slowly and deeply, to a depth of 4 to 6 inches, no more than once a week during the summer.

n Early morning watering is preferable because the air is relatively cool and moist, reducing water loss to evaporation. Late evening watering may encourage mildew and disease.

n Annuals should be watered at the first sign of wilting.

n Perennials need water only if they stay droopy after it cools off in the evening.

What Are Some Types of Irrigation?

n Sprinklers. Sprinklers can provide coverage over large areas. However, they can waste water because of the large amount of evaporation and runoff that occurs. Soaker hoses, trickle systems, and drip irri­gation systems place water directly at the plant’s roots with virtually no loss to evaporation.

n Hand Watering and Other Methods. Hand watering is also an option. Caution: If too much water is applied too quickly, undesirable runoff may occur. Another option is to redirect gutters and downspouts to irrigate an area. However, excessive gutter runoff may ultimately destroy plants and lawns because of excess water. Perforated downspouts and redirected downspouts are preferred downspout systems.

How Can You Prevent Irrigation System Leaks?

Inspect all irrigation heads, hoses, and connectors annually. Leaky hoses can waste 50 percent or more water flowing through the hose. Make sure the washers at all hose connections and sprinkler valves are tight-fitting. Any worn or damaged equipment should be replaced as soon as possible.