1. Have An Irrigation System
While having an irrigation system may seem counter intuitive, it can save water. Hand watering or using a hose with an attached sprinkler is one of the most inefficient ways to water your landscape, as there is a lot of waste involved with this type of irrigation. Having a professionally planned and installed irrigation system is a great way to conserve water.
2. Properly Functioning Sprinklers
Have you ever seen a sprinkler aimlessly sputtering water, or worse yet watering a sidewalk? Broken sprinklers are a water waster; they are not contributing to anything beneficial and simply dumping water into soil. Another, water-wasting pitfall, is having the wrong type of sprinklers installed for the area. For example, MP (matched precipitation) rotors are efficient in watering lawns. So, making sure the sprinkler is the best fit for the area, is another way to conserve water.
3. Watering Times
This is one of the simplest ways to reduce water consumption. Watering during the night or early mornings reduces evaporation and makes the water more available to plants and lawn.
4. Removal Of Non-Native Plants
Often times non-native species of plants require additional water and overall maintenance. These plants become more stressed in hot weather and require more watering. Removal of non-natives and replacement with natives reduces watering time. If you want to take it a step further, consult a professional to find out the best placement for plants. Doing so ensures you’re not planting in too hot of a spot for a particular ornamental tree or shrub.
5. Sub-Drip to Lawn
You’ll often see Portlanders opting to let their lawn go dormant in summer, turning ugly and brown. Perhaps this is out of environmental consciousness or the motivation to save some money. These stances are understandable, as lawn is very thirsty, usually requiring 15 -30 minutes of daily watering. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a luscious green lawn? Thankfully, you don’t have to compromise anymore. Sub-drip irrigation, is piping laid beneath the surface of the lawn closest to the roots. This allows direct watering to the root system with no evaporation or over-spraying areas that don’t need it. Sub-drip reduces watering times to a mere 2-3 minutes a day!
6. Bark Mulch
Bark mulch does many things to improve landscapes; think of it as a workhorse for your yard. It improves the overall appearance, health and suppresses weeds. A less known benefit is moisture retention to soil and therefore surrounding plants.This greatly reduces the amount and duration of watering time, and protects during times of extreme heat. We highly recommend installing mulch with any new plantings. Keep in mind bark needs re-application every 1-2 years to remain effective.
7. Moisture Sensors
We’ve all witnessed lawn being watered while it’s raining. This cringe-worthy scene, can be a thing of the past with a moisture sensor. This sensor is installed into the soil beneath the surface of the lawn. It detects the level of moisture in the soil and communicates this information to the irrigation clock; preventing the system from running unnecessarily.