Water Wisely

A truly efficient way to use water in a yard is to design the yard so that it thrives predominantly on rainfall. Even if your yard has a lawn and specialty gardens, it is possible to design it as a Carolina Yard in which you can water the plants “as needed.”

However, even an ideal landscape design can be over-watered. That’s why many of the actions in this section deal with sprinkler systems. It’s extremely important that each irrigation zone is set to meet the needs of the plants in that area. For example, a lawn in full sun will demand more frequent irrigation than an established plant bed of shrubs and groundcovers.”

In the Spotlight: Lawn Care Tips

Water Wisely Action Checklist:

  1. Put a rain gauge in your yard and track rainfall to avoid unnecessary watering.
  2. Water your lawn and other plants only when they show signs of stress. Comply with any existing watering restrictions in your community.
  3. Use a drip- or micro-spray irrigation system to more efficiently water plants and plant beds.
  4. Design or modify your sprinkler system to water lawn areas separately from plant beds, which require less water. 
  5. Walk your yard when the irrigation system is on to ensure that water is being applied to lawn and plant beds only and not the pavement.
  6. Calibrate your sprinkler(s) to apply 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water per application. 
  7. Connect an automatic rain shut-off device to your sprinkler system's timer and set the device to 1/2 inch so it will override the timer when enough rain has fallen. Check to see if the shut-off device is working properly. 

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Did you know?

If you water your landscape when it doesn’t need any, or apply too much, you might end up encouraging weed growth, increasing mowing time, stimulating disease outbreaks, and raising your water bill!

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Tip:

Put a rain gauge in your yard and start tracking rainfall. You will soon notice how much rain is falling on your landscape. Overtime, you will be able to determine if your plants need water partly based on how much rain is in your gauge!

Additional Resources:

HGIC 1065 Watering Shrubs and Trees

HGIC 1207 Watering Lawns

HGIC 1804 Irrigation Time of Day

HGIC 1811 Drip Irrigation

HGIC 1801 Determining When to Irrigate

HGIC 1812 Microsprinklers

HGIC 1802 How Much Water

Carolina Yards Scorecard