Written by Chris Campbell
Conservation of almost everything is on people’s minds these days. There are several ways to save by recycling, careful selection and just plain using less. You don’t have to make your lawn or landscape plants suffer to save water this summer. The trick is to get the most mileage out of the sprinkling you do. Make every drop count.
One of the big mistakes to avoid is applying light, shallow sprinklings that moisten the surface of the soil but don’t get much water to the root system. This actually wastes water because the water that is applied doesn’t get used efficiently.
Other water wasters are sprinklers that water the streets and sidewalks. The spray from a sprinkler can be carried away from the lawn by the wind or the spray head might just need adjusting. Either way, asphalt and concrete really don’t need the water. Too much overlap in your pattern is another water “leak” you can easily plug. Be careful to water all the area, but only once. When moving the sprinklers, allow only a small overlap in your pattern.
Consider these tips:
- Water only when the soil is dry to a depth of 3-6 inches.
- Water deeply (usually an hour in each spot). Avoid shallow sprinklings.
- Adjust your sprinklers to avoid getting overspray onto drives, walks and streets.
- When watering, cover each area only once. Try not to create overlap that over-waters parts of the lawn.
- Water larger trees, shrubs and perennial beds very slowly. Let a hose trickle at the base for several hours.
- Soaker hoses are also a good investment for these areas.