GREEN Tips for Watering Your Landscape This Summer

GREEN Tips for a Waterwise Landscape This Summer

Did you know that more than half of the average household’s water expense is from outdoor water usage?

With temperatures on the rise during the summer months, below you’ll find some great water-saving, eco-friendly tips that will help you save on your water bill too.

•Water Early in the Morning

Irrigate your lawn  before 8:00 am, when less water is lost to wind and evaporation.

•Don’t water when it rains or if the soil is wet

Touch the soil. Is it dry to a depth of one inch?  If so, then it’s okay to water.

•Water Deep vs. Often

When your landscape is dry, water it well, soaking the soil to a depth of 4-5 inches.  This will promote root growth and make your lawn and other plants more drought tolerant.

•Don’t use sprinklers on windy days

The use of sprinklers on windy days can lead to uneven watering and overspray onto the sidewalks and streets.  If you get a lot of wind on your property, install a drip irrigation system and low angle sprinkler heads in order to keep water near the ground vs. blowing away.

•Know your landscape and your plants

Are your plants brown at the tips?  If so, you’re plants are drowning.  They do not need more water.  Get to know your lawn and plant watering needs.  Learn to recognize the signs of moisture stress.

•Go Native

A great way to reduce your landscape’s requirement for water, and help the environment by saving water, is to plant with native trees and flowers. Talk to your local nursery and/or landscape professional about plants native to where you live!

•Cycle your sprinklers

Run your sprinklers for 2 or 3 short cycles instead of one long cycle on the days you water to ensure that water soaks into the ground rather than running off into your yard.

•Use Drip or sub-surface irrigation systems & water-based smart controllers

Sub-surface irrigation systems are the best means of watering your lawn and garden.  These systems, especially when applied with a weather-based smart controller, apply water directly to the roots, where the water is needed and avoids evapotranspiration (evaporation into the earth’s atmosphere).

•Watch for and Fix Leaks!

The next time you run your watering cycle, check for leaks, puddles and runoff.  If you notice a neighbor’s got a leaky problem, let them know immediately.

•Compost and Apply CPR

Apply a three-inch layer of mulch or compost around your garden plants to reduce weeds and evaporation and promote plant growth.  (Keep mulch away from tree trunks to prevent rot).  Improve the quality of your soil by using Surfrider’s CPR (Conservation, Permeability, Retention)! Visit:

•Harvest Rain

Save money and the environment by harvesting the water that falls on your landscape in a rain barrel.  Visit your local nursery to purchase and/or inquire about rain barrels and rain harvesting.

Maryann Ridini Spencer for Simply Green Living@