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10 Easy Ways To Make Your Landscape More Water Efficient Today

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There are number of ways to reduce water usage on your property. Often the perception is that you have to make a large upfront investment for a water management program to pay off. While often an upfront investment leads to long-term savings, there are a number of small changes you can make to your daily and weekly maintenance program that will make an immediate impact on your water consumption. Here are some easy changes you can make today:

  1. Water early in the morning right before dawn. It reduces losses to wind and evaporation.
  2. Water only when needed
  3. Adjust sprinklers to avoid waste and ensure uniform distribution
  4. Test the spray patterns of sprinkler systems; check for clogged lines and mixed nozzle sizes of sprinkler heads; and be sure to repair leaks
  5. Use drip irrigation for ornamental shrubs to reduce water usage
  6. Install rain shut-off devices or in-ground moisture sensors
  7. Set lawn mower blades higher to increase ground shade and water retention in soil
  8. Mulch around shrubs and planters to reduce evaporation and cut down on weeds
  9. Use a broom, rather than a hose to clean driveways or sidewalks
  10. Use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle

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Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. Currently he serves on the Irrigation Association’s Board of Directors. As a board member, Richard serves in a variety of capacities, including government/public affairs. He is the liaison between the board and its marketing committee on the best ways to promote water efficiency and educate industry professionals on new technologies, products and services. Richard is also a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.

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COMMENTS (9)

  1. Friday, 6:13 Alan Harris

    11. Install a Pressure Reducer – if you observe a misting effect when your irrigation system runs you may be losing up to 50% of the water to the atmosphere. The hydrologic cycle thanks you for the water vapor, but you will end up using up to 2X as much water to give the plants the water they need.

  2. Saturday, 8:20 Ronny Nelson

    Also using pressure regulating heads that do not exceed minimum head pressure(reduce misting).

  3. Wednesday, 1:02 Eric Romero

    Nice tips. Thanks.

  4. Thursday, 9:57 Jessyca Frederick

    I’m not sure who the intended audience for this article is, but if it’s homeowners who aren’t “in the field” then I believe #2 is actually a big source of the problem. Average consumers are undereducated about most things and don’t know “how much” is the right amount, especially since it changes seasonally and of course by location.

    To help with this, I’d add to the list, “Run your sprinklers with a stop watch in your hand and look for water run-off, especially from your lawn. Mark the time when the water stops being absorbed into the lawn and adjust your irrigation cycles accordingly. You may need to run more cycles each day but for significantly shorter periods of time.”

    Another one I’d add, especially for Southern Californians, would be something about, “Don’t overwater in August, September, and October. It’s hot, but your plants have lower water requirements at this time of year despite the heat.”

  5. Saturday, 12:39 Emilly

    Aside from many of the tips you offer, we use heat to cool down. Yes, you read that right. In the evenings we do two thngis, first, we have a hot tea. Usually a lemon/mint blend. Then, we have a tepid shower to cool the body, followed by a very warm, short shower. After being cooled off by the tepid water, the warm shower relaxes and comforts the body. And as you step out of the shower, the air around you feels cool on the skin. We head to bed slightly damp and refreshed, with the air around us still feeling cool. Perhaps it sounds a little wacked, having a hot tea and a hot shower during a heat wave, but it’s something we’ve done for years, and we swear by it it’s a nice way to set yourself up for a more comfortable night’s sleep.We also keep all of our south and west facing windows and doors closed during the day. Many people choose to leave all of the windows open, however I find that all it really does is allow the WARM breeze to blow in. We keep the house cool by closing the windows and the window coverings and just running a ceiling fan in the living space and kitchen.We are lucky enough to live in a part of the province without much humidity, but the one time this summer that we traveled to southern Ontario I was afraid to breath for fear of drowning in the moist air!

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