How to Water Smarter This Summer: 5 Tips

April 24, 2018 | By Roundtree Landscaping

Because of our tricky weather here in the Dallas, TX area, it can be a struggle to figure exactly how much and how often to water all of the plants in your landscape, as we move from season to season. Often it’s extremely hot and dry...while other times we get more rain than we can handle at one time. When it’s rainy, it’s easy to get into the habit of not watering, even when the hot dry times return. So, even though it’s still a bit cool this spring, now is a great time to think about how to water smarter this summer when things get hot.

Spring Irrigation Checklist for Smart Summer Watering

1)      Schedule an irrigation audit before summer. If it has been awhile since your irrigation system was checked for leaks, efficiency, and coverage, now is the time to schedule an audit with a certified irrigation specialist. Once summer hits, your plants will suffer and struggle to survive if each zone isn’t working correctly, you have a broken pipe, too much water pressure, or watering durations are incorrect.

2)      Hydrozone your landscape. If you’re installing a new landscape, be sure to take into account plant watering needs & group them accordingly. This will not only help the plants thrive, but can also reduce your overall water bill. Group ornamental grasses next to other drought-tolerant plants, such as Texas sage and agave. Group plants that need a little more water, such as roses and clematis. Also, keep shade-lovers such as ferns and hydrangea out of the hot sun - lots of extra water is often wasted trying to keep these plants alive in the wrong spot.  Better yet: choose all water-wise plants.

3)      Water for longer periods of time, less frequently. Plants will establish better and spread their roots further and deeper, with deeper waterings, less frequently. Brief, shallow watering cause shallow roots systems, which make plants more susceptible to drought and heat. Watering your lawn 1x per week for 30 minutes is better than watering your lawn 3x per week for 10 minutes. Ultimately, established landscapes require the equivalent of 1” of rainfall/irrigation water per week.

4)      Install a Smart Irrigation Controller. Smart controllers give you extra control of your irrigation system by keeping track of weather and soil conditions, and allow you to schedule a much more sophisticated watering plan that changes with the seasons and weather. They can adjust different zones for different types of plant material, and even for things like slopes and sun exposure. Add on a remote monitoring subscription and you can control your system from your smartphone! This technology helps to reduce water waste and keeps your plants looking their best.

We love the Weathermatic SmartLine controller.

5)      Install Drip, Bubbler Irrigation, or High-efficiency Rotators. Drip irrigation can be a very effective way to water your landscape without extra water waste.  Drip lines or individual bubblers (great for shrubs), deliver water directly to the root zone, eliminating the wasteful runoff and allowing water to absorb more deeply. Drip irrigation also allows you to adjust water to plants that require more, or less, than others. Watering at the root zone also helps keep water off of plant foliage, which can cause the spread of many plant diseases.

Traditional sprinkler heads produce lots of wasted water through evaporation, drift, and runoff. If you’re watering a lawn, go for high-efficiency rotators, instead of old-school high-pressure spray nozzles.

When plants are stressed from lack of, or too much water, they never look their best and may need replacing. To keep your landscape healthy, happy, and thriving, take steps now to prepare them for the impending doom—we mean, heat—of a Texas summer. Call us now for help!


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