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Using proper water techniques will keep lawns green, result in lower water bills


June 22, 2005 - When it comes to watering your yard, you may be able to save yourself some "green" without your lawn turning brown by changing the way you water your lawn.

The greatest waste of water comes from applying too much water too often — much of it runs off and never is absorbed.

Instead of watering for one long continuous session, people can split the watering time into shorter periods and take 15-minute breaks in between each session.

This will let the water soak in, while minimizing runoff.

Watch the clock and water between 5 and 10 a.m. That's when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool.

Midday watering tends to be less efficient because of water loss due to evaporation and windy conditions during the day.

Watering in the evening isn't a good idea either because leaves can remain wet overnight — an open invitation for fungus to grow.

By watering in the morning, homeowners give the leaves a chance to dry out during the day.

Different plants need different amounts of water.

By dividing a yard into separate watering zones, the grass can be watered separately and more frequently than groundcovers, shrubs and trees.

If homeowners have an underground sprinkler system, a properly adjusted sprinkler head should spray large droplets of water, not a fine mist, to minimize evaporation and wind drift. Homeowners can also do routine inspections and periodically check the sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly.

When it comes to watering individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers or other non-grassy areas, people can apply water directly to the roots with low volume drip irrigation.

This will reduce water waste through evaporation or runoff and keep weeds from growing.

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