FAIRFIELD — It’s not that hard to keep nice gardens and landscapes amid dry spells.
The UC Cooperative Extension offers a good checklist of tips to make the most of the water you use through its website at http://cesolano.ucanr.edu.
Here are a few of them:
- Water during the cool parts of the day. Watering between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. reduces evaporation and interference from wind as well as helps prevent the growth of fungus.
- Don’t water the gutter and sidewalk. Position your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden, not on concrete, where it does no good. Avoid watering on windy days when much of your water may be carried off before it hits the ground.
- Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Leaks outside the house may not seem as unbearable, but they can be just as wasteful as leaks in the house. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. Watering frequently can be very wasteful as it doesn’t allow for cool spells or rainfall that can reduce the need for watering. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on some grass. It doesn’t need water if the grass springs back up when you move.
- Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants. A layer of mulch will slow the evaporation of moisture.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. There are many beautiful trees and plants that thrive with far less watering than other species.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps. Using a hose to push around a few leaves and scraps of paper can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
- Teach your children that your hose and sprinklers are not toys. There are few things more cheerful than the sound of happy children playing under a hose or sprinkler on a hot day. Unfortunately, there are also few things more wasteful of precious water.
- Check sprinkler and drip systems for missing heads, holes, detached lines, and for the proper placement of drip emitters. Both two-legged and four-legged family members can easily wreak havoc with sprinkler systems.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.
Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.