For many of us, fall is the best time of the year. It comes in the form of cooler and more pleasing temperatures. As you go through the normal routine of changing the clocks, don’t forget turn back irrigation clocks too.
And, while you’re there, take a moment to size up your landscape’s water needs. The days are shorter, the hours of sunshine decrease, and many plants lose their leaves and prepare for dormancy, which results in two important biological changes. First, our plants don’t take in as much water. Second, the rate at which moisture evaporates from the soil is significantly less than it was just one month ago. Although plant roots continue to grow at a snail’s pace during dormancy, without leaves they don’t have a great need for hydration.
Consider applying as much as 4 inches of mulch to conserve existing soil moisture and help protect plant roots from freezing temperatures. Next, ensure your controller isn’t running unnecessary programs or start times. Most sprinkler controllers need only one start time to run an entire series of zones. Extra or “stacked” times can cause your water consumption to be as much as four times your average use.
Not sure how to accomplish all of this? SAWS Conservation team provides year-round, water-wise advice for landscapes and sprinkler systems. Call us at 704-SAVE (7283) to make an appointment.