Urban landscape irrigation is one of the largest growing water use sectors in Florida with over half of all residential water use occurring outside the home.
What are your watering habits? Do you irrigate because your yard actually needs it or because your sprinklers just automatically come on? Do you know when or how long you are watering?
Following the tips below will help you to conserve water and help the environment.
Be Water Conscious to be Water Conserving!
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. Over-watering results in shallow root systems and makes your lawn less disease and drought tolerant. Titusville restricts the use of potable, well, and reclaimed water and all irrigation should be done in accordance with the Irrigation Restrictions. Learn your days.
- Use native plants and ground covers. They require little or no water other than rain, no fertilizers, have few pests and diseases, and tolerate poor soils. They also support our pollinators!
- Know your sprinkler heads. Never put different types of irrigation heads in the same irrigation zone. Different heads deliver different amounts of water, so don’t mix them. Same goes for mixing turf and plant beds. Plants need much less water than turf. Never put them in the same zone as turf.
- Use a rain gauge or small wide-mouth can (think cat food or tuna) to determine how long to run your sprinklers. Only 3/4-inch of water per area is needed for a healthy lawn. Set several cans throughout a zone. Run a normal cycle in that zone. Measure how much water is in the different cans in the zone and how long it took to run the cycle.
- Water early in the morning to avoid excessive evaporation loss. Watering in the evening may cause fungus and disease. The restrictions prohibit irrigation between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Give your irrigation system a monthly checkup. Go outside when your system is running and see just where you are watering. Fix broken or misdirected sprinklers. Make sure your timer is reset after power outages. Add another sprinkler head instead of trying to get coverage by creating high arcs of spray that only loses water to evaporation. If your water ends up mostly on the driveway or the sidewalk, you need to rethink your spray heads or configuration.
- Turn off sprinklers when it’s raining or windy. If it's raining, you don't need to be watering; and if it is windy, the water is not getting to your turf or plants. Florida law requires automatic irrigation systems to be equipped with a rain sensor. A rain sensor keeps your system from running when it is raining.
- Retain moisture and prevent erosion in your yard by placing a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch wherever possible. Grass clippings, leaves, and yard trimmings can also be added to plant beds to retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil. Do not pile mulch up next to tree trunks. Doing so can cause rot and lead to pests.
- Use pesticides and fertilize appropriately. Using too much of either can be harmful to you, your plants and the environment. The more fertilizer you use, the more water your lawn will need. Titusville has a fertilizer ordinance that limits how and when you can fertilize. Never fertilize before a rain storm or before running a full irrigation cycle of your sprinkler system. It will cause the fertilizer to runoff your yard into the stormwater system and ultimately the Indian River Lagoon.
- Minimize water runoff from your yard. Runoff carries soil, trash, grass clippings, pesticides, and fertilizers into storm drains that lead to our local waterways. These pollutants harm waterways and the aquatic life in them. Following these tips will help to reduce the runoff from your yard. In addition, you can use plants, mulch, stones, etc. to create a berm or barrier on the edge of your yard that helps to keep your irrigation on your yard.
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