Happy Smart Irrigation Month!

July, the month of highest water demand, is now Smart Irrigation month. This will hopefully reduce the peak water demand, lower water bills, protect water supplies, and minimize needed investments in infrastructure. According to the Irrigation Association, there are many ways that average consumers can reduce their demand for water.
One of the most water-intensive practices and wasteful use is irrigation, since many plants have extraordinary water needs. By creating efficient irrigation systems, you will minimize the risk of over-watering your plants, use every drop of water you pay for, as well as make yard maintenance easier and more convenient.
Some methods you can use to create an efficient irrigation system are:
Be smart when planting in your garden. By creating the healthiest possible micro-ecosystem in your yard, you will have healthy plants with very little maintenance. Start by selecting plants that do not need lots of water-visit a native nursery for the best selection. Then, make sure you have healthy soil with plenty of drainage and organic matter. You can improve drainage in clay soils by mixing in sand or perilite. Add compost to your soil to increase the organic matter, and add beneficial minerals to your soil.
Install an irrigation system that will be able to suit your needs. Instead of watering all of your plants by hand, install a weather-based irrigation controller that will take all of the guess work out of watering. These irrigation controllers automatically tailor the irrigation schedule to match your plant’s needs on a daily basis.
Service your irrigation system on a periodic basis. By periodically checking your irrigation system, you will find any major problems such as broken pipes or leaking sprinkler heads. Also, sprinkler often get bumped out of alignment and waste water. Misaligned sprinkler heads can also often cause liability because they sometimes wet sidewalks or other surfaces and make them slippery.
Work with an irrigation professional. By working with a professional, you will be able to create an irrigation system that meets all of your needs. They will be able to help you design an irrigation system to deliver just the right amount of water in just the right places.
For more information, visit http://www.irrigation.org/Resources/Smart_Irrigation_Month/Consumer_Resources.aspx
Brian O’Neill

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