Posted On June 27, 2019 By In Home & Garden With 405 Views

West Coast Gardener: Smart Irrigation Month!

by Hayley Zumkeller, WES-TECH Irrigation Systems Ltd.

In 2018, the weather station in Victoria saw its driest July in nearly 120 years. It had recorded zero millimetres of rain all month, breaking records for both heat and dryness. It is extremely likely that this July will show a similar pattern of drought conditions. This matters. We need to be able to protect our lawns and gardens without it costing an arm and a leg. Once plants are not taken care of, they may not always grow back.

Smart Irrigation Month helps homeowners save water, money, time, and the investments they have put into their yards. July is the month we want to raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and protecting the environment.

Tips for Saving Money & Creating Better Results

1. Familiarize yourself with your irrigation controller settings and adjust the watering schedule regularly. There are also bluetooth and WiFi features so you can change the schedule with a simple tap of your phone.

2. Utilize new “Smart Controller” technology. These controllers adjust the watering schedule based on weather, amount of rain and soil moisture in order to meet the needs of your landscape.

3. If you do not have a weather sensor, you can install an inexpensive rain shutoff switch which prevents watering in rainy weather.

4. Inspect your system monthly for leaks, broken or clogged heads and any other problems. Add clean micro irrigation filters as needed.

Water Wisely

5. Schedule watering for each zone separately. Consider the type of sprinkler you’re using, sun or shade exposure, soil type and plant requirements in those zones.

6. Water at the right time of day. Pick a time when the sun is low, there is no wind and the temperature is cool. The best time is often early in the morning. This can minimize water evaporation by 30%.

7. Don’t overwater your plants – it results in shallow roots and encourages weeds, disease and fungus. Water only what your plants require.

8. Think about low-volume drip irrigation for plant beds. You can install micro irrigation for gardens, trees and shrubs. It allows water to drip directly onto the plant roots which minimizes water waste, run off and evaporation.

9. Water for Shorter Periods. This lets the soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes at a time.

With these tips, you can create a well-maintained system that keeps your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy, all while minimizing water waste and saving money. Especially in a month like July!

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