Friday, March 9, 2012

Grass Roots Water Conservation.....

Water Conservation

One of the largest topics in the very near future (now) will be water conservation. Many cities and states are experiencing potable water shortages as we speak.

Many think this is another tree hugger fantasy, or the Southwest version of Save the Whales. Did you know that a little over a hundred years, ago paddle wheel steamers were traveling up and down the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico? They were very similar to the ships that were navigating the Mississippi River; well today you can almost walk across the Rio Grande.

We have more people, more concrete, more residential turf areas than we have ever had before and whether we like it or not, water has become our most precious natural resource.

So there are some very simple ways of conserving this precious resource, in this blog we will deal with the basics of water usage in the landscape irrigation arena.

Watering in longer cycles or zone runs, does not mean more water for your grass, in fact just the opposite. After 7 minutes of run time on most spray heads the water is running down the street and provides little in the way of benefit to your starving yard. So………….Cycle and Soak:

Try this Irrigation Scheduling method for watering your lawn

and landscape. For fixed and pop-up spray sprinklers,

Use the Cycle and Soak water 3 cycles a day, 4 to 6 minutes each cycle.

Schedule start times one hour apart. If you have rotating sprinklers, water 3 cycles a day, 10 to 12 Minutes each cycle.

You will this is more effective than the standard 15 minute runs we have all been used to, the infiltration rate of our North Texas clay soils are such that more water runs off and down the street than into the root zone…….Try this idea to remind you of cycle and soak…think of a brand new sponge, just out of the wrapper, have you ever tried to clean your kitchen counter with a dry sponge? It just smears the mess around on the counter but get that sponge a little wet and it works much better…Think of your lawn as a dry sponge and you have a limited amount of water to use and you do not want any running down the street…Cycle and Soak…That is your new mantra.

Okay…got cycle and soak?…..Next, think of mulch for your flower and shrub beds. Mulch can reduce (by up to 65 %) the evaporation of moisture from that bed area…who knew??

Seriously, you spend time and dollars watering make sure it stays where it is needed and where you intend it to be. Pine straw, cedar, hardwood, shredded pine, eucalyptus….the choices are endless…just use an organic product that can decompose and add organic matter back to the soil, the plants will love you, the earthworms will love you and you will be the hero of your block…….(well maybe)

Enjoy the Life

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie HobsonMarch 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Good advice Ralph. Thank you.