Monday, August 2, 2010

Smart Irrigation Month Finale

Smart Irrigation Month has zipped right by, much like the rest of the summer! We have had the weirdest weather here in Siouxland this summer. Heavy rains coupled with days of fast-drying heat. This was a great summer to show folks the usefulness of a rain shut off device! I have had calls from customers thanking me for explaining the benefits of these devices and installing one on their system. Not one customer has regretted having one installed.


Following is our last installment from the Irrigation Association for Smart Irrigation Month - (The words in italics are from me)

Water Wisely

Today’s irrigation systems include sophisticated controllers that allow you to easily adjust watering schedules to fit different needs.
  • Get in the zone. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and soil in that section. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules.  (This is where Smart controllers really shine with zone by zone precision controls)
  • Consider soil type. Type of soil determines how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Watering more than soil can absorb causes runoff and waste.  (The clay soils of Sergeant Bluff are going to hold water much longer than the sand soils of Dakota Dunes)
  • Don’t send water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.  (I don't care how much you water it, concrete isn't going to grow! Keep it on the grass!)
  • Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
  • Water at the best time. Watering during the heat of the day may cause losses of up to 30 percent due to evaporation. Prevent water loss by watering when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool — typically between the evening and early morning.
  • Water more often for shorter periods. For example, setting your system to run for three, 5-minute intervals lets soil absorb more water than watering for 15 minutes at one time, reducing runoff.
  • Adapt watering to the season. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly based on seasonal weather conditions. Or invest in a smart controller so your system can make these changes automatically.

Smart Irrigation Month is over, but that doesn't mean you should stop being a smart consumer. Take care of your sprinkler and your mower. Your yard will thank you by staying green, lush and healthy AND need less water!

Have a super week!

Keep it Green!

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