Water-Wise Landscape Watering - Irving, Texas


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Water-Wise Landscape Watering - Irving, Texas

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Water-Wise Landscape Watering - Irving, Texas

  1. 1. Water-Wise Steps to Follow but it can be trained to grow deeper roots When should I mow? people apply excess nutrients, which simply Many Texas water utilities charge higher and be more drought tolerant by adjusting Cut grass only when it is dry, keep mowing run-off and pollute local waterways. Leavingrates during the summer or increase rates it slowly to successively longer periods blades sharp, and don’t cut more than 1/3 of grass clippings on the lawn reduces the needin increments based on use. Reducing your between waterings. its length at one time. for chemical fertilizer.outdoor water use by following these steps How long should I water? How else can I improve my landscape? What should I do with my grasscan produce substantial savings in your water To determine how long you should run clippings? Improve the soil! If your original soil isbill. your sprinkler, place 3-5 rocky, sandy, shallow, heavy clay, or has little Don’t bag your clippings! Mulched grass 1. Determine how much water empty straight-edged cans at organic matter, it can be improved by adding clippings break down fast and do not cause your landscape needs to stay different distances away from several inches of high quality loam soil and thatch buildup in turf. They also help hold healthy. the sprinkler. Run the sprinkler 2-3 inches of organic matter such as mulch in moisture, reduce evaporation, moderate 2. Use water-wise land- for 15 minutes and measure temperature and give nutrients back to the or compost. High quality soil helps reduce scape maintenance the amount of water collected in lawn. irrigation needs by retaining water better practices such as proper each can. Calculate an average when added to sandy soil and by absorbing mowing, mulching, and water depth and determine How can I conserve soil moisture? water better when added to clay soil. Unless moderate fertilizing. how long it will take to apply Use lots of mulch, it will make your the soil is damaged or depleted, native and 3. Minimize water evapora- 1” of water, which will keep shrubs and young trees more tolerant to well-adapted plants may not require imported tion by using the most most Texas grasses healthy scorching Texas heat! One to three inches soil. Shape the soil to protect against efficient equipment in the summer. Don’t forget of mulch retains moisture longer than bare erosion and use conditioners to promote for each situation and to account for any rainfall since ground, reduces run-off, helps moderate water penetration and retention. Shape keep that equipment the last irrigation. Some cities have daily soil temperatures, aids in root development, the soil into earthen basins around shrubs. well-maintained. updated information online or by phone about reduces erosion, slows weed growth, Aerate the lawn once a year. Weed the lawn how much water should be applied based prevents soil compaction, and makes your and garden as needed. Weeds rob plants of 4. Design a water-wise land- scape by planting drought- on local weather conditions. To avoid runoff landscape beautiful. Rock and gravel in large, valuable water. Yaupon on sloping areas, place sprinklers near the hot sunny areas radiate heat from the sun, tolerant grass and choosing plants How else can I minimize water Holly top of the slope and apply water slowly and increasing temperatures and water losses that are native or well adapted to the use? intermittently (“cycle-soak”). from plants and soil. Place mulch directly climate conditions in your area. Cover pools and spas when on the soil or on weed barrier fabric that Water-Wise Landscape Watering What should I water? can “breathe.” Avoid using sheet plastic not in use to lessen evaporation. Only plants! Don’t water the sidewalks in planting areas. Top dressing In the summer in Texas a 30 ftWhen should I water? and driveways. Use a broom to sweep debris by 15 ft pool can easily lose 1.5 (applying a thin layer of compost to Pay attention to signs of stressed grass, away. This can save 30 gallons per 5 minutes the surface of the lawn) functions inches of water a week or 1,800such as a dull green color, footprints that of work! like mulch for your lawn. It gallons of water a month! Backwashremain visible after walking on the lawn, or increases organic content, and your filter only as necessary. Backwashingcurled leaf blades. Water only after the top How can I use rainwater? protects shallow grass roots. wastes as much as 150 gallons of water, so2” of the soil has dried out. Check moisture Harvest it! Funnel the water from your consider using cartridge type filters, whichby feel with a soil probe or a screwdriver. gutters into a rainbarrel and save it for a What should I know about do not require backwashing. Decorative sunny day! Rainwater is free, and is better fertilizing? fountains should be turned off on windy daysWhat time of day should I water? for your plants because it doesn’t contain Contact your County Agricultural and during drought. Evaporation loss can be 60% higher during hard minerals. Also the pH of rainwater may Extension Service or local water-wisethe day, so water during the early morning be better for plants. nursery professional for a soil kit and Texas Water-Wise Irrigation Equipmentor in the evening. Do not water on windy recommendations for the ratio of nitrogen, Redbud Water-Wise Landscape Maintenance What is the most efficient irrigationdays. Watering at night does not contribute phosphorus, and potassium that should be system?to brown patch fungus, which is caused by How long should my grass be? in your fertilizer. The right ratio of nutrientsoverwatering and high fertility. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method Don’t scalp your lawn! Taller grass holds helps grass withstand stress, uses less of watering for non-turf areas such asHow often should I water? moisture better, encourages deeper root water, and reduces excess nutrient runoff. bedded plants, trees or shrubs. Drip systems Proper watering once every five days or growth, and makes it less susceptible to Spring and fall applications of fertilizer help minimize or eliminate evaporation, impedelonger will help grass and shrubs develop browning! Keep grass 3 inches tall during to develop good root systems, which keep weed growth, and may help prevent diseasesdeep roots (it is especially important to start the summer (however, more than 3” of your grass more drought-tolerant. Too much caused by under or overwatering. Tubingthis during the spring when root growth is at height stresses the grass). fertilizing causes excessive growth, creating should be inspected regularly for damage,its peak). Over-watered turf will have a short more demand for water, more thatch, and the leaks, and debris that may have cloggedroot system and will not be drought tolerant, need for increased mowing frequency. Many the lines. Soaker hoses are an easy and
  2. 2. inexpensive alternative to drip irrigation. What maintenance is required for my of another (for instance most shrubs don’tSoaker hoses perform best when the water automatic sprinkler system? need as much water as most grass). If youflow rate is low. Soil moisture should bemonitored to determine when enough water Check sprinkler heads regularly to remove dirt or debris that may be clogging the nozzle have to have a few thirsty plants, group them together and place them near your house. BEING WATER-WISEhas been applied. Native plants are more resistant to local plant OUTDOORS and to make sure they are working at the proper pressure and not leaking. When spray diseases and pests. Contact your CountyWhat type of sprinkler should I use? heads are inactive they should be as close Extension Agent, your water-wise landscape Use a low-angle sprinkler that produces professional, or your city or water supplierlarge drops of water close to the ground, to the ground as possible to avoid damaging them with lawn mowers. Repair or replace for recommendations of water-wise plantsrather than an oscillating sprinkler or a that are adapted to your area of the state andsprinkler that produces a mist or fine spray. broken heads, valves, seals, and pipes. Make sure the last group of sprinklers shuts off additional information on efficient landscapeThis will help to minimize evaporation. water use.Sprinklers with adjustable spray patterns are completely when the next group of sprinklersuseful for irregularly shaped areas (or just use turns on. If not, check the valves. Once athe hose). Use a timer so you don’t forget to month run the sprinklers for a short time onturn it off. each cycle while you are at home to make sure they are working properly.How should I manage my automaticsprinkler system for water efficiency? What features should I look for in an automatic sprinkler system? Automatic sprinkler systems can providean efficient method of irrigating lawns The controller of new sprinkler systemsbecause controllers turn the system off should have a multiple scheduling option, aafter a predetermined amount of time, so rain-shutoff device, a water budget featurea measured amount of water is applied. (which allows percentage adjustments without having to reprogram), and test LantanaHowever, don’t just set it in the springand leave it all season! Adjust run time functions.and frequency of the system monthly torespond to changing rainfall and temperature Design a Water-Wise Landscape Mountain WHY CONSERVE WATER?conditions. Install rain shut off devices or What is the best way to reduce Laurel According to the Texas State Watermoisture sensors to avoid unnecessary watering? Plan, Texas’ existing water sources willwatering. Adjust sprinklers to eliminate Plant water-wise, well-adapted and/or meet only 75% of the projected wateroverspray on pavement. Don’t assume that native shrubs and trees! Plant bermuda, This brochure was developed by the Texas Water demand by 2050. We must use ourall plants have the same watering buffalo grass, or zoysia, which are all Development Board in cooperation with the City of drought-tolerant. Choose plants that are Austin Water Conservation. Some reference material precious water resources more effi-requirements. Reduce the runtime of sprinklers on shrubs, drought-tolerant (or at least have low was adapted from “Handbook of Water Use and ciently or we will have more frequentwhich may not need as much water requirements), heat- Conservation” by Amy Vickers (WaterPlow Press, 2001). and more severe water shortages, es-water as grass. Shady areas tolerant, and are tolerant Plant illustrations by Nancy McGowan. pecially during droughts and hot Texasmay not need as much water of the minimum winter summers when water use is 1.5 to 3either. To minimize runoff, temperatures in your local area. Instead of grass, put times greater than winter use. In theadjust the precipitation rateof the sprinkler head so drought-tolerant ground summer, outdoor water use can ac-the soil has enough time cover in areas that are count for 50 to 80 percent of hometo absorb the water. Trim narrow, small, sloping, odd- water use! Much of this water is wastedovergrown shrubs or other shaped, or close to pavement. CONSERVATION through inefficient landscape wateringobjects obstructing the spray Limit turf areas to those needed for practical uses. Many cities provide Texas Water practices. Using water more efficientlypattern. Some municipalities Development Boardoffer free irrigation audits. lists of water-wise plants and some P.O. Box 13231 will also save energy and money, andOtherwise, contact a professional offer landscaping rebates. Group Capitol Station protect the quality of life of future gen-landscape irrigation specialist for a your plants into irrigation zones Austin, Texas erations. We must be responsible andmaintenance check. according to their water requirements 78711-3231 (hydrozoning) so you don’t overwater www.twdb.state.tx.us conserve water now. Printed On Recycled Paper Bur Oak one type of plant to meet the needs