Outside General Watering

Things we can do to adapt outside water use to the natural cyclical dry conditions as well as save money:

  • Consider native and drought-tolerant plants and grasses when making landscape choices and adjust your watering to take advatage of the less-thirsty plants.
  • Get your irrigation system tuned up for efficiency. When was the last time you actually watched all the sprinklers in action? Are you sure there aren’t any geysers coming out of your front yard?
  • Adjust your sprinklers so there is less watering on cool and overcast days and don’t water when it’s raining.
  • Water your lawn when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. Reduce the number of days your automatic sprinklers run during the cooler months between October and April.
  • Consider reusing some household water to irrigate your landscaping by using a gray water system or by using a bucket.
  • Water your lawn during the cool times of the day and preferably on less windy days. Early morning is better than dusk. Less watering means less prolific growth, therefore less mowing and fertilizer is needed.
  • Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation
  • Adjust your automatic sprinklers so that water lands only on your lawn or garden where it belongs and not on the sidewalk or street.
  • If you have a pool or spa, use an insulated cover to cut down on evaporation. It also will keep your pool or spa cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals.
  • If you have an evaporative air conditioner, direct the water drain line to a flowerbed, tree base or lawn.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slow evaporation.
  • As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering the lawn during midday. It’s more efficient to water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., and to avoid watering on windy days.
  • Water in several short sessions rather than one long one. Three ten-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes to an hour apart, for example, will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture than one straight 30-minute session.
  • Don’t water unless your lawn needs it. Over-watering promotes shallow root growth and makes your lawn less hardy. To determine if your lawn needs watering, walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, it’s time to water.
  • You can also install moisture sensors in your lawn’s sunny and shady areas to pinpoint if you need to water.