Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to increase awareness for water conservation and increase the use of water saving products, practices and services. Saving water is easy and the process starts with you. Below are simple tips you can start working on today to reduce water use, lower your water bill and improve the beauty of your landscape.
Smart Irrigation Month
1. Think about your yard
Select plants that have low water requirements and will thrive in your local climate. Think about the unique features of your yard, including sun and shade, dry and damp areas, plant size, and how you plan to utilize each section of your yard.
2. Healthy soil is critical to plant success
Fertilizing your yard or garden replenishes lost nutrients and ensures plants have the food they need to grow and thrive. You don’t work well when you are hungry, and your plants don’t either.
3. Mulch well around plants, bushes and trees
Using 2 to 4 inches of mulch reduces evaporation, moderates soil temperatures and helps control weeds that compete for water and nutrients in your soil.
4. “Hydro-zone” your yard
This is just a big word for growing plants with similar water requirements in the same area of your yard. These areas should be on the same irrigation valve. That way you don’t have to overwater your drought tolerant plants to satisfy your water guzzling plants.
5. Save grass for functional areas
Plant turf only in areas where it will be used and enjoyed. Water your grass with sub surface drip irrigation. Leave steep slopes and other hard to water areas for drought tolerant ground cover or perennial color.
6. Plant shade trees
We have all enjoyed the benefit of standing under a shade tree in the summer. Shade trees reduce overall temperatures and reduce water evaporation from soil. They can also be the highlight of your landscape.
7. Maintain your yard regularly
For many of you it is a pleasure to work in your yard. Landscapes that are well maintained require less water. Your time will be well spent weeding, trimming, and inspecting your irrigation system. For those of you who don’t enjoy the work so much, check out this link from the Irrigation Association to help you find an Irrigation Association certified contractor in your area.
8. Install a smart controller
In most situations the fastest way to save water for your landscape is through the proper use of smart controllers. You can learn all about smart controllers here. This is also true for agricultural growers. There is field-monitoring technology today that reduces water use and increases yields in rural areas growing food to support urbanization.