39 0

Part II on conserving water tips

If you’re looking for more ways to conserve water outdoors, here is a list of tips! Some are simple things that can make an impact on the environment and your wallet.

OUTDOOR TIPS

#62

Use porous material for walkways and patios to prevent wasteful runoff and keep water in your yard.

#63

Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.

#64

Choose the right Arizona-friendly plants and watch them thrive in our desert environment.

#65

Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.

#66

Plant species native to your region.

#67

Plant in the spring and fall, when the watering requirements are lower.

#68

When sprucing up your front or backyard, consider xeriscaping. This landscape method uses low-water-use plants to limit your water use.

#69

Consider attending a landscape class hosted by a water provider. Most workshops occur in the spring and fall.

#70

Avoid planting grass in areas that are hard to water, such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.

#71

Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.

#72

Start a compost pile. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.

#73

Use a layer of organic mulch on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.

#74

Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants helps them retain moisture, saving water, time and money.

#75

Use 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.

#76

Visit your local xeriscape garden to view plants that thrive in our hot desert environment.

#77

Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low-water-use plant and save up to 550 gallons each year.

#78

Call your local conservation office for more information about xeriscaping with water-thrifty trees, plants, and ground covers.

#79

Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts. Direct the runoff to plants and trees.

#80

For automatic water savings, direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems to water-loving plants in your landscape.

LAWN CARE

#81

Hire a qualified pro to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently.

#82

Hire a Smartscape Certified professional landscaper who has received landscape training specific to the Sonoran Desert.

#83

Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.

#84

Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.

#85

If installing a lawn, select a lawn mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.

#86

Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.

#87

If walking across the lawn leaves footprints (blades don’t spring back up), then it is time to water.

#88

Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three to four weeks, less if it rains.

#89

Avoid overseeding your lawn with winter grass. Ryegrass needs water every few days, whereas Dormant Bermuda grass needs water monthly.

#90

Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.

#91

While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.

#92

Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.

#93

Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. 3/4 to 1 inch of water is enough to apply each time you irrigate.

LANDSCAPE

#94

Read the Landscape Watering by the Numbers guidebook to help you determine how long and how much to water.

#95

Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water.

#96

Set a kitchen timer when using the hose as a reminder to turn it off. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons per minute.

#97

Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.

#98

Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.

#99

Timing is everything when it comes to irrigation. Learn how to set your controller properly.

#100

Look for WaterSense® labeled irrigation controllers.

#101

Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case of malfunctions or rain.

#102

Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.

#103

If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.

#104

Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.

#105

Signs of overwatering: Leaves turn lighter shades of green or yellow, young shoots wilt, and sometimes algae or fungi grow.

#106

Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.

#107

Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won’t run when it’s raining.

#108

Water dry spot by hand instead of running the whole irrigation system longer.

#109

Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.

#110

Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots, where it’s needed.

#111

Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.

#112

Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops and mist often evaporate before hitting the ground.

#113

Use a rain barrel to harvest rainwater from gutters for watering gardens and landscapes.

#114

For hanging baskets, planters and pots, put ice cubes on top of the soil to give your plants a cool drink of water without overflow.

#115

Remember to periodically check your sprinkler system valves for leaks, and to keep sprinkler heads in good shape.

#116

Spring is a great time to give your irrigation system a checkup to ensure it’s working efficiently.

#117

Pruning properly can help your plants use water more efficiently.

POOL

#118

Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.

#119

Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.

#120

If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.

#121

When back-washing your pool, consider using the water on salt-tolerant plants in the landscape.

#122

Minimize or eliminate the use of waterfalls and sprays in your pool. Aeration increases evaporation.

#123

Don’t overfill the pool. Lower water levels will reduce water loss due to splashing.

#124

Keep water in the pool when playing, it will save water.

#125

Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.

#126

Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those that spray water into the air.

#127

Use a grease pencil to conduct a bucket test to check for pool leaks. An unnatural water level drop may indicate a leak.

GENERAL OUTDOOR

#128

Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.

#129

For more immediate hot water and energy savings, insulate hot water pipes.

#130

Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.

#131

Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 100 gallons every time.

#132

Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.

#133

When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.

#134

When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

#135

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.

#136

Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance check. For more efficient cooling, check your evaporative cooler annually.

#137

If you have an evaporative cooler, direct the water drain to plants in your landscape.

#138

Set water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save both water and chemicals, plus energy, too.

#139

If you have an evaporative cooler, install a recirculating pump to keep water from bleeding off with one pass.

#140

Report broken pipes, leaky hydrants and errant sprinklers to property owners or your local water provider.

#141

Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. Were a pipe to burst, this could save gallons of water and prevent damage.

#142

Install a thermostat and timer on your evaporative cooler so it only operates when necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *