Turn back clocks, sprinklers
Itís time to fall back into the
routine of saving water! Fall has finally
arrived and with it, there
are new ways to conserve water during this seasonal change.
Mark your calendar! October 26th is when Daylight Savings Time comes to an
end and clocks fall back one hour. Although fall arrives in Southern California
inconspicuously, some subtle clues that reveal the new season are shorter days,
cooler temperatures, and changes in leaf colors.
During this transition from summer to fall, it is important to also review
and change your water usage so that you can maintain a responsible approach
towards saving this natural resource. Dan Carney, Landscape Architect for the
City of San Diego Water Department has 10 tips on how to save water and when:
- Adjust the watering schedule on your irrigation controller. With the
shorter days and less sunlight, plants need less water, even if the weather
is still warm. An average lawn needs 25 percent less water in the fall than
during the summer months.
- Replace old batteries in your sprinkler/irrigation system with new ones to
ensure that the system will operate properly and according to schedule.
- Water between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 a.m., preferably on less windy
days. These darker and cooler hours of the day during the fall are when less
- Trouble shoot sprinklers that waste water. For example, check water
pressure and filters regularly to keep your drip irrigation system in good
- Prevent watering on rainy days by installing a moisture sensor to an
automatic sprinkler system, or turn the system off when it rains.
- Retain moisture in the soil by using mulch. Mulching also helps to control
weeds that compete with plants for water.
- Incorporate native and drought-tolerant plants and grasses into your
landscapes and gardens to take advantage of less water-dependent vegetation.
Fall is an ideal time for planting. To get ideas for what to plant, visit
the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College or view their website at www.thegarden.org.
- Reposition rain gutters so that runoff from them is directed towards the
plants in your landscaped areas.
- Cover your pool and spa to reduce water loss due to normal evaporation.
There is a natural decrease in pool and spa use as the weather gets cooler.
This will also help to keep it clean.
- Remember that during the fall, plants need less water. Many plants are in
their dormant phase and either change color or shed their leaves to prepare
for the coming cold weather. These plants donít require as much water as
they do during the dry, hot season.
Use the City of San Diego Water Departmentís landscape watering
calculator to ensure that you are using the correct amount of water. This
resource tool is designed to produce a custom weekly schedule that defines the
right amount of water your garden may need according to season and plant type.
To create a customized irrigation schedule visit www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation.
Adapt to the seasonal change in water use by following these guidelines.
Remember that no matter
how mild the weather, water conservation is a year-round effort.
Courtesy RB NEWSJournal
October 23, 2003