Simple Ways to Save Water in the Landscape. Celeste White Orange County University of Florida Extension

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1 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Landscape Celeste White Orange County University of Florida Extension

2 Landscape irrigation accounts for an estimated 50% of total home water use

3 Some Things Are In Your Control, Some Things Are Not! Uncontrollable Factors Temperature Rainfall Sunlight Wind Soil type Drainage Controllable Factors Plant selection Plant placement Landscape design Mulching Irrigation Management

4 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Landscape Select the right plant for the right spot Reduce areas requiring irrigation Adjust irrigation scheduling Modify the irrigation design Repair irrigation problems Make irrigation improvements Avoid under and over irrigation

5 Select the Right Plant for the Right Spot - Shade and Sun

6 Select the Right Plant for the Right Spot - Excessive Water High water table Downspout drainage Low spot Poor drainage Over-irrigation

7 Selecting the Right Plant for the Right Spot - Drought Tolerance New versus established landscapes Drought tolerant plants

8 Reduce the Areas Requiring Irrigation Turf requires about 12,500 gallons of irrigation water per 1000 ft 2 per year. Mulched landscape beds require 6,240 gallons irrigation water per 1000 ft 2 per year.

9 Reduce the Areas Requiring Irrigation Mulched landscape beds can conserve up to 15,600 gallons of irrigation water per year. Use turf where functional and appropriate.

10 Adjust Irrigation Scheduling - When to Water Early morning or evening is best Temperature is cool and wind is calm 40% - 60% of water applied evaporates in the afternoon sun!

11 Adjust Irrigation Scheduling - Water Restrictions No watering allowed between 10 AM and 4 PM Check with the Water Management District about further water restrictions during drought.

12 Adjust Irrigation Scheduling - According to Season Water less frequently in the fall and winter. Typically, Florida s rainy season is June - September.

13 Adjust Irrigation Scheduling - Automatic Timers Irrigate by amount of water applied, not by time. Water as needed

14 Adjust Irrigation Scheduling - Amount Apply ½ to ¾ inch water per application. Soak soil thoroughly to promote a deeper, more drought tolerant root system. Efficient watering wets only the root zone.

15 How to Calibrate Obtain several containers Place on turf or in a bed Water for a known amount of time Measure the depth of the water - determine the average Determine the time needed to apply 1/2 to 3/4 inch

16 Modify the Irrigation Design Mixed sprinkler heads in a zone waste water Place turf and shrubs on separate zones Add additional zones if possible Group plants by water needs

17 Modify the Irrigation Design Unmatched precipitation rates Sprinklers are designed to cover arcs. Over-watering or gaps occur with unmatched flow rates. Select flow rates to match the arc of the sprinkler

18 Modify the Irrigation Design Spacing Wide spacing patterns create the need for longer operating times, which reduces efficiency. Space sprinklers with some overlap

19 Make Irrigation Repairs Broken heads Broken or misdirected sprinklers A misdirected head can under-irrigate or water sidewalks, driveways etc. A damaged head wastes water and reduces irrigation throughout the zone

20 Make Irrigation Repairs - Interference Interference can be caused by overgrown turf, shrubs or groundcovers Can result in over or under-watering

21 Make Irrigation Repairs Examine each zone monthly and repair/redirect Select correct components to maintain uniformity, pressure and application rate

22 Irrigation Improvements Micro-irrigation Rain Shut-off Device Install micro-irrigation where appropriate Install a rain shut-off device. Calibrate the sprinkler system.

23 Avoid Inadequate Irrigation Establishment of a 2 inch caliper tree: Daily irrigation for 2 months, then 3 times per week for the next 3 months, then weekly until established. Establishment time: 3-6 months

24 Avoid Inadequate Irrigation Establishment: Irrigation for Shrubs* (Florida Fancy, 3-gallon) Months 1-2 1/2 inch daily Months 3-4 3/4 inch every other day Months 5+ 3/4 inch twice weekly, but increase area of coverage

25 Avoid Excessive Irrigation Irrigation controllers that are set to run too frequently or too long per irrigation causing pollution and pest problems. Calibrate the system Use a rain sensor. Operate system manually

26 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Landscape Select the right plant for the right spot Reduce areas requiring irrigation Adjust irrigation scheduling Modify the irrigation design Repair irrigation problems Make irrigation improvements Avoid under and over irrigation

27 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Landscape Celeste White Orange County University of Florida Extension

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