Saturday, June 19, 2010

thinking the "green" of your home

Home Improvement/modifications
thinking the "green" of your home (pun intended)

Seems people are of the opinion that since we had decent rain this past season (actually only back to normal) that the drought is over!! Nope.
People must still be "water wise". Are you doing your part???

You all have seen/heard the spots on TV/radio regarding water conservation so we'll not address those. But; watering your YARD is a topic needing attention. Why do I mention this.....I see far too much miss-use, miss-application, and far too much over watering. Let's start right at the beginning: Sprinklers.

If you are still using a system that is more than 10 years old, you are probably wasting water.....Esp. if you are using those ole round, broadcast heads that are spaced about every five to ten feet apart all over your yard. These broadcast types are more soakers than sprinklers. Change these to rotors. Yes, the rotors are more expensive at initial purchase (why the "gardeners" don't use them) but; they are 10 times more efficient and save 100s of gals. of water per year. Main benefit: these spray intermittently allowing for the water to soak-in, and by adjusting the run times, provides your yard w/the moisture it needs and not just become a soaked sponge.

Being water conscious applies to your choice of grass and plants. Shift to drought tolerant types. For instance; drought tolerant tall fescue only needs watering every other day. The length of time for watering depends upon your system. To establish the time, need to do a "test." Place a wide -mouthed can in the yard. Turn on the system. Watch the time it takes to accumulate an inch and half of water in the can. Stop. That is your run time. For a continuing "test", step on the grass, press down. If the grass springs back, it's ok. If not, slightly increase your watering time. Demand will very from "winter" to hot, dry summer.

Note: drought tolerant plantings does NOT mean "desert landscaping". there are lots of choices.

Different plants require different amounts of water. Place like plants together so they can be watered appropriately, don't mix together. This way you do not over/under water causing some plants to fail. In planting beds, use drip and/or soaking lines where ever possible (usually everywhere!!). Do not use the broadcast types. Put the water only where it is needed.

Are you spraying your house, fence, sidewalk/street....why? No matter how much you water 'em, they are not going to grow....!!! Not only does this waste water, such shall cause damage to wood and to stucco. Yes, you may need to relocate some lines, but that is a small effort for the benefit gained.

Water early in the morning: best is between 5-8. Contrary to what you may hear, do not water your grass in the evening nor at night. Plants and soil will "surface" hold the water until day time drying. This causes root rot and mold/mildew...esp. w/roses. If additional watering is deemed necessary water again round 2pm. NO, there is no evidence to support that watering in the day time only creates evaporation.

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