The official start of summer is tomorrow. If you take a look at the record temperatures across the United States you will notice summer has been here for awhile. The first three months of 2012 were 6 degrees higher than average in the lower 48 states, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s great to be able to wear shorts in February but there are some potential negative effects. According to Science Daily global temperatures in May were the second warmest on record. The most disturbing news to me is four major heat records fell this year. In a stunning new climate report from NOAA the lower 48 states set temperature records for the warmest spring, largest seasonal departure from average, warmest year-to-date, and warmest 12-month period, all new marks since records began in 1895.
These high temperatures mean more water is needed for our landscapes. Summer is upon us and I want to remind everyone especially this summer we really need to focus on proper water management for our landscapes. Below is a quick list of things you can do today to make your landscape more water efficient. They are all economical practices that will result in water savings immediately:
- Water early in the morning right before dawn. It reduces losses to wind and evaporation.
- Water only when needed
- Adjust sprinklers to avoid waste and ensure uniform distribution
- Test the spray patterns of sprinkler systems; check for clogged lines and mixed nozzle sizes of sprinkler heads; and be sure to repair leaks
- Use drip irrigation for ornamental shrubs to reduce water usage
- Install a rain shut-off device
- Set lawn mower blades higher to increase ground shade and water retention in soil
- Mulch around shrubs and planters to reduce evaporation and cut down on weeds
- Use a broom, rather than a hose to clean driveways or sidewalks
- Use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle
For additional ways to save water be sure to check out the 100 water savings tips I put together last year.
And while you’re staying inside, hiding out from the hottest summer on record, be sure to check out the movies in our Summer Entertainment Series: Martha’s 5 Terrifying Water Movies and Alan’s 5 Movies Filmed In The L.A. River.