The Happy Gardener

The Newsletter Serving Residential Farmers of the world wide web


A Winning Situation


You've just invested your money to beautify the grounds of your home by installing a new landscape and lawn. The landscaper programs your automatic irrigation clock to water the yard for a set length of time on certain days, and smiles and waves good-bye. His job is done. Yours is just beginning. At first you water your yard daily for 10 minutes. That sufficed when the climate was cool, but as soon as it warmed up you began to increase the irrigation time by 15 minutes, then by 30 minutes, then to an hour a day just to maintain your investment. A common problem people face is how to keep their lawn and landscape alive and how to save water at the same time.

The purpose of our Water Management Program is designed to give homeowners a solution to that particular issue. We teach water management in a variety of ways but the main focus of our teachings comes from the irrigation section of our monthly newsletter. The irrigation schedule, written in laymen terminology, gives instructions how to set your clock according to what type of sprinklers you have. Most people reading our newsletter for the first time discover this revelation: The settings on their clock have remained unchanged because they've been unaware of how to adjust them according to the changing seasons. Our schedules are designed to work with the changing temperatures.

Before attempting to follow our schedules, you first must classify the type of sprinkler system that you have. Then match your sprinkler types to the settings on the schedule and set your clock accordingly. Our schedules are designed for these types of sprinklers: pop-ups; impacts; single and multiple spray rotaries, and drip.

The schedules allow you take an active role towards solving your irrigation dilemma. They prescribe the correct dosage of water your lawn and landscape needs to stay healthy and tells you which days to run your system but also allows you the freedom to be flexible. For example, if the schedule says to water three times per week but you feel that you can get by with twice a week, then go ahead and water less. Our program gives you the confidence to adjust accordingly. You end up feeling good about saving water while at the same time protecting your investment. Compared to lawns, many landscapes can survive much longer without water.

At first, some folks are afraid to turn the water off and give our program a chance to work. Plants respond quickly because watering every day robs them of oxygen. Plants, like people, need oxygen first, then water. Longer dryout periods between irrigations encourages plants to grow deeper root systems which allow them to search deeper for their water source. It's a win-win situation. The plants become more drought tolerant and you can turn off the irrigation system and save water.

Water use varies according to the season. In January and February, after we receive an inch of rain, irrigation clocks are turned off and operated manually on an as needed basis. There is little to no outdoor water use. January, February, and March are critical times for developing deep root systems. In March, April and May water usage rises. Irrigation systems are just turning on. Water use increases during June, July, and August. Summer brings hazards to irrigation systems, due to frequent usage and vulnerability for breaks and leaks. Temperatures can peak in Sept. and October. Consumption winds down to a trickle in Nov. and December.

The beauty of our Water Management Program is in its simplicity and self sufficiency. Water Management doesn't end at the faucet.

'Better Care Through Integrated Pest Management'


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