Watering in Trinidad is All About CONSERVATION!
We’ve all seen it: Sprinklers running and water flowing down the road into the culverts; broken water heads shooting off a geyser ten feet in the air; water being shot out into the middle of the road… Seeing water, a finite resource, wasted in an area where it is so precious can be hard to watch, just as much as a lawn full of dead grass is an eyesore. But with a little thoughtful attention, neither have to be a reality you as a home or business owner have to experience.
“Well Begun is Half Done”
When you gear up for the Spring, a good start can make watering throughout the year much easier. Once your ground begins to thaw out and become workable, check to see if your soil is holding moisture. Namely, if it is rock hard and you can’t stick a finger in, it may be time to aerate your yard before the Spring rains show up. Otherwise, runoff is going to be an issue.
Aerating is important for several reasons at the beginning of Spring. First, it helps open up the soil to get oxygen to the grass roots. It’s important when aerating to be sure the method used removes what are called ‘plugs’ from the soil and not just spikes that poke small holes in the ground. This also allows for more water penetration to eliminate problematic runoff from your lawn.
Another thing to consider when starting off the season is your equipment. If you’re using an installed sprinkler system, inspect all the sprinkler heads and be sure none are broken or working improperly. If they are, get them replaced before activating your system. A broken sprinkler head not only wastes water, but can really drive up the water bill!
If you’re using a hose and moveable sprinklers, again, be sure to inspect the hose for leaks and test the sprinklers to be sure the rubber gasket is properly sealing with the hose and everything is working correctly. If you’re not on a sprinkler system purchasing a timer for your water hose can be a huge help. This will eliminate having to remember to turn water on or more importantly, off, and are fairly inexpensive.
During Spring, It’s important that your yard gets about 1″ of water each week. t’s best to give it that inch all at once versus spread out. This lets the water penetrate deep into the soil and makes the grass roots grow deeper making your lawn much more resilient. To avoid excess running off the lawn, we recommend the “Cycle and Soak” method. That is, break up however long it takes to water 1″ in 3 watering segments in the same morning. If using a sprinkler system, this can be done cycling between zones several times during a complete water cycle.
By now, your grass roots should be deeply established and throughout June and July water between 1-1.5″ depending on how much it’s rained that week, if any. Again, it’s better to water deep and infrequently to best benefit your plants and avoid runoff.
At the beginning of Summer, it’s a good idea to do a routine inspection of all your watering equipment and if using a system, monitor the paths of the heads to ensure they’re still calibrated correctly. Even if everything was perfect at the beginning of Spring, any number of things from a mower wheel, a passerby, or a curious raccoon could throw off a sprinkler.
The best time of day to water is in the early morning before winds pick up between 3-6am. This also ensures the least amount of evaporation and also gives a chance for the sun to dry the moisture from the leaves to prevent mold.
Again, it’s a good idea to periodically check in to see what water regulations are in effect at the beginning of each season.
Fall & Winter Watering
As the season changes and temps begin to fall, watering schedules can go back to Spring amounts (about 1″ a week). Keep an eye on how much rain we get each week and adjust watering times accordingly. Watering too much could allow mold to develop with cooler temperatures.
During the winter, it may seem that no water is needed in the landscape, but don’t let the slow snow melt fool you. It’s very likely that if there’s not enough snowfall that your soils may be dry and in need of moisture. This should be done on an as needed basis when temps are above freezing. Be sure to drain hoses used and store in a shed or garage safe from freezing temps. Soil moisture can be checked with a simple finger test. If its dry more than an inch beneath soil surface, it’s time to water. Although most plants go dormant during winter, that doesn’t mean they don’t need a drink!
- Spring: Check soil absorption. Aerate if needed. Set once/week water schedule of about 1″. Inspect all equipment.
- Summer: Reinspect equipment. Check local water regulations. Water 1-1.5 inches 1-2 times weekly. Water early mornings.
- Fall: Same as Spring. Reinspect equipment. Be careful not to overwater.
- Winter: Water on ‘as-needed’ basis. Store watering equipment in freeze safe storage. Winterize sprinkler systems properly.
We’re Here to Help!
If you have any questions regarding the watering plan for your lawn or gardens, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We offer several services to help ensure your lawn is getting the water it needs, from aeration, to irrigation inspection, calibration and winterization.
If there’s anything we can do to help you get more enjoyment out of your lawn, please CONTACT US and let us know how we can be of service.
Don’t forget, watering is important for a healthy lawn, but it’s also important to only use what’s necessary to keep it that way. We people and the wildlife around us need it too, and we can all do our part to ensure everyone has access to plenty by being thoughtful about our home and business watering plan.