9 Tips for Water Management in Landscape Maintenance
By: Joe Feather, Woodlake Outdoor
Proper landscape care requires a proper regimen. Because of the dry, hot climate in Texas, there is a tendency to over-water or water at the wrong times. Whether you manage a commercial property or would like to reduce your residential water bill, here are a few tips that will help you ensure correct watering and a thriving, healthy landscape.
#1 Water deep.
Water deep but infrequently to replace the water in the soil that has been lost. Do this without any run-off so that all the water reaches the root zone, which promotes deep root systems.
#2 Don’t water daily.
Daily watering allows the plant material roots to stay shallow. In a drought there is not significant root development for the plant to sustain itself over any length of time.
#3 Don’t water in the heat of the day.
Watering in the heat gets evaporation into the atmosphere as the water is being applied and you get scalding from the sun, magnifying the water droplets on the leaf surfaces.
#4 Don’t over-water.
When a plant root system stands in water, it begins to damage the roots, causing them to die off. When the plant gets into the heat of the season, those damaged roots cannot uptake water and nutrients, causing decline or plant death in some instances.
#5 Use overhead irrigation or point source emitters.
The best equipment for commercial watering includes overhead irrigation emitters and point source emitters (such as drip or bubblers). With these methods, a watering schedule is needed to apply the water at the proper times and rates.
#6 Use drip emitters correctly.
Drip emitters don’t save water unless you follow an accurate schedule of watering for the plant material and soil type where the drip is installed.
#7 Monitor your automated watering systems.
Don’t assume that you can set the controller one time for each season. Seasons differ every year: temperatures change and plants mature. Proper maintenance requires regularly monitoring and adjusting.
#8 Find out the optimal water amounts for your automatic systems.
If you have an automated irrigation system, a water audit should be performed to calculate the efficiency of the system and to make corrections to stations that perform poorly.
#9 Continue to educate yourself.
Become a lifelong learner about conserving water on your property. There are a handful of quality resources, including your county AgriLife Extension System, arboretums, and plant garden centers.
For more information on water conservation and landscape maintenance, please contact us at Woodlake Outdoor.