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Water Your Garden the Smart Way

Water deeply

Most plants do best if the soil is allowed to partially dry out between waterings. In lawns, a loss of shine or footprints staying in the lawn because it's drooping indicate that it's time to water. Vegetables and other annuals should be watered at the first sign of droop, but tougher plants that live several years only need water if they stay droopy after it cools off in the evening.

Make sure you reach the roots

Watering deeply helps moisten the whole root zone. Watering deeply also builds deeper, healthier root systems. To determine if you are watering deep enough to moisten the whole root zone, dig in with a trowel after watering to check the depth of the moisture.

Video demonstration on how to water your plants

Make every drop count

Some easy ways to lower water bills and get more water to plants include:

  • Build your soil with mulch and compost, to hold water and prevent evaporation
  • Choose low water use plants - they can often thrive just on rainfall, once established
  • Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation on beds. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems save 50% or more than sprinklers
  • Use a timer that screws onto the hose end to water just the right amount
  • Water lawns separately from other plantings.
  • Make sure sprinklers aren't watering the pavement.
  • When soil is dry or compacted it won't absorb water quickly. If water puddles, stop watering a while and then restart, so the water has time to penetrate.
  • Water in the early morning or evening. If you water during mid-day half the water will evaporates.

Use automatic irrigation systems efficiently

Automatic systems can either waste lots of water, or be fairly efficient.

  • Have a professional test, repair and adjust your system annually.
  • Inspect the system while operating once a month - look for leaks, or heads that are plugged or misdirected.
  • Install a rain shutoff device.
  • Adjust watering schedule according to the season. Plants need a lot less water in May and September than they do in July and August

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