Water smart this summer. Photos Leslie Halleck.

In The Garden: Water Smart this Summer

Okay, Dallas. It's officially hot.

It’s officially hot in Dallas. With temperatures heating up beyond 100 F, lawns and landscape plants are very suddenly feeling the stress. We went from an overabundance of rainfall and soil saturation to dry weather and extreme heat. You may have noticed that all of a sudden, your lawn has started to curl and wilt and landscape plants may have started to shrivel. While there was almost no need to water lawns and landscapes throughout spring and early summer, we’ve now shifted over into the “time to water” zone. However, spring rains don’t mean we’re off the hook when it comes to watering smart and continuing to conserve.

Dallas Water
Image courtesy of Save Dallas Water, Dallas Water Utilities

In response to the onset of summer heat, I’ve seen sprinkler systems going off all over town…at the wrong times of day…on the wrong days of the week. Despite the heavy spring rains, Dallas’ permanent water restrictions are still in place. That means you may water twice per week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays if you have an odd address and on Thursdays and Sundays if you have an even address. There is no automated sprinkler watering allowed between 10am-6pm April 1 through October 31.

If you are running a drip system, you are exempt from the assigned watering days and times and you may also hand water on any given day. So, if you’re running your sprinkler system at noon in 100F weather, you’re not only in violation of the watering ordinance, you’re wasting water to evaporation.

I’ve also seen a lot of broken sprinkler heads spewing wasted water and sprinkler heads that are doing nothing but watering concrete. If you haven’t had your irrigation system audited by a certified irrigation specialist, now’s the time to do so.

Best watering practices include watering your established lawn and landscape less frequently but for longer durations. The goal is to water deeply, but less often. Deep watering encourages a more extensive and healthy root system. Shallow, frequent watering only create shallow and week root systems.

Smart Controller Phone App
My Smart Controller Phone App

Me? I had my entire outdated irrigation system renovated to a drip system that runs on a smart controller. I control it from my smart phone. Pretty cool.

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