Summertime means afternoon picnics and evening fireflies. Unfortunately, it can also mean high water bills. While you want your lawn to stay lush and green, you also want to have funds for weekend getaways and epic summer vacations. Follow these tips for conserving water while keeping your landscaping healthy:
Find and fix Leaks
It’s not always easy finding leaks, and you might need professional assistance. You use enough water getting grass to stay green, however, so don’t let a leak generate waste.
Install a Rain-Shutoff Device
Rain shutoff valves don’t cost much and can be installed on your current system controller. Since it measures rain and communicates this information to the controller, your system will shut off once a certain level of rain has fallen. Not only will this handy device save you on your monthly water bill, it will protect the lawn from overwatering.
Upgrade to a Smart Controller
Modern technology has created weather-based controllers that enhance watering efficiency by up to 40 percent. This investment will cost you more up front (from around $300 up to $4000) but pays itself back over time (depending on your watering needs, it could be weeks or months).
Use Quality Emitters
How and where water gets placed on plants means everything. Even if your emitters are three to five years old, check and see if an upgrade would enhance efficiency.
Try a Rain Barrel
Rain barrels can solve more problems than one. Letting you save rain water and use it for irrigation purposes, it not only saves you money but lets you water plants with nature, not with tap water (salts and other chemicals can stunt plant growth).
Opt for Drought-Tolerant Plants
Thoughtful plant selection not only maximizes space but lets you use less water. Planting varieties like yucca, yarrow, sage and white fir will let your lawn thrive while using the least amount of water possible. Before planting, make sure to research what grows best in your climate.
For optimal absorption, water should hit the soil (watering leaves can cause excessive evaporation). If necessary, re-aim sprinkler heads and emitters to ensure they deliver the water at appropriate angles.
Using mulch around plant keeps the roots moisturized and cool. Shredded bark and wood chips work well, as they also transform organic material into soil.
Keep Grass Tall
Cutting grass so it stays at around 2 inches will shade the soil and limit evaporation.