Water Conservation Tip No. 14

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It doesn’t make sense to fire up the sprinkler system and irrigate all of your landscape when only a small portion of your plantings is dry. Here are some specific examples of when spot-watering will suffice.

With new trees and shrubs that were set out this year. These plants were grown in nursery potting soils that are very loose and fast-drying. Until their roots grow outside the original soil balls and into your native landscape soil, you will need to hand-water them between lawn irrigations. Use a hose with a bubbler attachment, or simply let the hose dribble slowly to saturate their root systems.

When a portion of your turfgrass is dry but the remainder is not. Use a hose-end sprinkler to irrigate just those dry spaces. However, you probably also need to check the heads in your sprinkler system to be sure they’re all functioning properly. Some may be blocked. You may want to adjust the amount of time you have on the various zones on your controller so that all of your plants will dry out at the same rate. It is not uncommon for every zone to have a different length of run-time.

To keep your home’s foundation properly moistened. Use a soaker hose 4 to 6 inches out from the concrete to saturate the soil. That’s a far more efficient method than running any type of sprinklers.

When a part of your yard has new sod or seed. New grass has very shallow roots so you’ll need to water more often but with less at each time to be sure that it has a chance to root into the ground without scorching.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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