As temperatures drop, so should your outdoor watering
By AMWUA Staff
Conserving water is what we do when we live in a desert, especially as pressures on our water supplies increase. While reducing your water use won’t solve the Colorado River shortage, conservation enables your city to maximize and stretch its water supplies. One way we can all help is by watering our yards efficiently and effectively – especially considering most of a household’s water use is outdoors.
As the temperatures cool, it’s important to note that watering needs for your plants also decline. Watering needs vary from season to season and month to month. So regularly adjusting your irrigation schedule on your timer when the weather cools is an easy way to save water and money while ensuring your plants get the right amount of water they need to thrive.
Yes, an automated irrigation system waters your yard without thinking about it. Still, that frequency should be adjusted at least four times yearly to account for differences in seasonal watering needs, such as during the desert heat or cool fall nights. If you forget to change your irrigation system, you will overwater your grass, plants, and trees this winter. In addition to being a waste of water, overwatering can mean soggy soil that can prevent trees and plants from pulling in essential elements from the soil, such as nitrogen and iron, and suffocating the roots.
To better assist homeowners with this issue, the water conservation specialists from the AMWUA cities worked together to deliver a solution. Simply text WHENTOWATER to 33222 and receive a text message on the first of each month with a link to that month’s unique watering guide. This guide reminds you to change your settings as the weather changes and gives precise watering instructions for all your plants. Those alerts link you to a smart chart that shows you how often to water everything in your yard, including grass, cacti, and annuals. The chart also includes watering instructions when plants with different watering needs, such as trees and shrubs, are on the same valve.
Additionally, we all need to remember that when we get a heavy rainstorm, we need to take advantage of the moisture and turn off our irrigation systems to save water and not drown our plants.
The cooler weather is also perfect for a little outdoor work, so now is the time to turn on your irrigation system and walk around your yard to find and fix leaks. AMWUA’s Smart Home Water Guide can help you through this with simple step-by-step instructions. It’s also a good idea to still run your irrigation system for a couple of minutes at least once a month to ensure its mechanical parts remain in good shape and function correctly.
Outdoor water use can drive your water bill, so that’s where you can best save water and money. Your city’s water conservation website offers more information to help you save water outdoors and keep your landscape thriving despite the temperatures.
Check out our valuable plant and landscape tips and resources for more information.
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For over 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit www.amwua.org.