Shape Up Your Sprinkler
Experts estimate that 50% of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. You can take simple steps to promote a healthy landscape and use less water.
Irrigation System Tips
Homes with automatic irrigation systems can use about 50% more water outdoors than those without them. Here are some tips for keeping water use under control:
- Timing is everything: Generally, it’s best to water lawns and landscapes in the early morning or late evening because significant amounts of water can be lost due to evaporation during the heat of the day.
- Look for the label: If your system uses a clock timer, consider upgrading to a WaterSense controller. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers act like a thermostat for your lawn, using local weather data to determine when and how much to water, reducing waste and improving plant health. Learn more on the WaterSense website.
- Go with a pro: Contractors certified through a WaterSense labeled program can audit, install, or maintain home irrigation systems to ensure water isn’t wasted. Make sure you ask for credentials.
- Tune up your system: Inspect irrigation systems for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the sidewalk, street, or driveway.
Healthy Lawn & Gardens with Less Water
Even if your home doesn’t have an irrigation system, there are a number of simple steps you can take to promote a healthier lawn and garden with less water this summer:
- 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.
- Give your hose a break: Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off. And don’t forget to check for leaks at your spigot connection and tighten as necessary.