July has been designated Smart Irrigation Month by the Irrigation Association. Here are some tips from landscaping company the Toro Company for using water wisely:
¢ Mulch your plants to help retain soil moisture.
¢ Install a drip irrigation system to water shrubs, hanging baskets and flower and vegetable gardens. Such systems use half the water of conventional sprinklers and are more efficient because they deliver water slowly and directly to the plant's roots.
¢ If you have an automatic sprinkler system, install a rain sensor to interrupt the program when a specific amount of rain has fallen.
¢ If your irrigation system has a mechanical timer, consider upgrading to an automatic, programmable model.
¢ If you use a hose and portable sprinkler, buy a hose-end timer to regulate your water use.
¢ Don't fertilize during hot, dry weather. Applying fertilizer can enhance drought problems.
¢ Raise the blade on your lawn mower. Closely cropped grass requires more water.
¢ Use a mulching mower to recycle your grass clippings back into your lawn.
¢ Use plants native to your climate, which require less watering.
¢ Sweep your sidewalks and driveway rather than hosing them down.