July is Smart Irrigation Month

Celebrate the Benefits of Smart Irrigation

Smart Irrigation Month is an Irrigation Association initiative to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf and agricultural irrigation.
Current irrigation technology can sense when it is raining as well as the moisture content of the soil, and automatically skip the irrigation cycle when appropriate.  How often have you driven past a commercial or residential landscape whose irrigation system is running during a rainstorm? This massive waste of water is really in-excusable with today’s available technology.  
Smart irrigation starts with the landscape design, plant choices, watering schedule, and choice of irrigation method.  Below are a few ideas to help ensure efficient irrigation:
·         Choose water-efficient plants and group plants with similar water requirements together.
·         Water only when plants need it. Water requirements vary by species, location, and time of year.
·         Deeper, less frequent watering is best for most lawns. Water only two or three times per week, and remember the optimal amount of water to apply will be sufficient to soak deeply into the ground, but not too much to avoid run-off.
·         Or better yet, avoid planting turf species that require frequent watering. Consider one of the new strains of warm season grass such as Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloide), Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), or the new Plant Select® DOG TUFF™ grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’).  All of which can be watered as little as twice a month, or even less! These turf species also tend to grow more slowly than the typically grass species so as an added bonus you won’t need to mow as frequently.

·         Cut back on fertilizer. Apply only the fertilizer that’s necessary. Some non-flowering trees and shrubs never require fertilizer.

·         Consider adding a rain barrel: as of August 2016, Coloradoans can store up to a total of 110 gallon of rainwater to use on their lawns and gardens I one or two rain barrels. Your local garden center likely has them in stock.

·         Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch! A layer of mulch on the ground reduces evaporation, conserves water, and stabilizes soil temperature and crowds out weeds.

Are you familiar with the phrase “Urban drool is not cool!”?  Urban drool is the water that runs off improperly watered lawns, carrying fertilizers, pesticides, and valuable nutrients to ground water, local streams and the ocean, causing potentially devastating bacterial and algae blooms and chemical pollution. 
For more tips, re-visit the BLOGPOST PILE 10 Steps to Wise Watering 

Allison Gault