Watering Systems Prevent Over Watering And Save Money
Save water and save money. Prevent over watering this spring and summer.
How do you as a homeowner prevent over watering your lawn and garden this spring and summer? How can you keep from kicking your hard-earned money to the curb?
Prevent Over Watering: Install Sensors
First, let’s talk about the differences in rain or soil moisture sensors. Ever hear of them? These helpful little gizmos override your automatic watering system when a specific amount of moisture has been detected.
- Sense rainfall
- Shut down regularly scheduled irrigation once a designated amount of water has been detected
- Are small and simple devices
- Less expensive
- Easy to install and maintain
Soil Moisture Sensors:
- Are more accurate than rain sensors
- Detect moisture at the root systems of your plants
- Offer greater water savings
- Difficult to install and maintain
Watering Systems: Pros and Cons
Second, let’s talk about the pros and cons of the different watering systems. There are basically three systems with variations to the first.
- “Hand” Watering
- Soaker Hoses
- Drip Irrigation
- Automatic Sprinkler System
Hand watering is the oldest and simplest way to irrigate your lawn and garden and prevent over watering.
Nozzles are simple and inexpensive. You can control the water flow easily. When you hand water with a hose-end nozzle, you can prevent over watering by simply watching the spot you are watering. When you notice that the water is no longer being absorbed, move on to the next spot that needs watering.
Watering your lawn and garden with nozzles has only one big disadvantage. Watering your lawn or garden this way takes a lot of time.
Watering your lawn or garden with sprinklers is what we like to call the dragging hose method. Not fun. They are inexpensive and easy to use, though. We like to use the timer on our stove to remind us to “drag” the sprinkler to the next spot. Some sprinklers even come with a timer attached.
There are 3 disadvantages with sprinklers:
1) Watering patterns tend to be uneven.
2) It’s hard not to overspray (you know, onto the sidewalks, driveway, house, windows …)
3) You do lose water from evaporation.
Then there are soaker hoses. A soaker hose is great for level garden beds, food gardens, new trees and shrubs. It takes a lot less time to water than hand watering and there is less water evaporation loss than there is with overhead sprinklers. Watch this video: How to use a soaker hose correctly.
There are more disadvantages that come with using soaker hoses:
1) They don’t work well on slopes.
2) Over watering is easy to do since the water isn’t easy to see.
3) Some soaker hose materials have been known to release heavy metals.
4) You have to conscientiously avoid soaker hoses when digging, because they are easy to damage.
5) It is difficult to water the ground evenly.
6) Soaker hose material breaks down quickly when it is not covered with mulch.
Whichever way you choose to hand water your lawn and garden, check and make sure 6 to 8 inches of soil is moist as it should be. Plunge a long screwdriver to check the depth of the moisture.
Drip irrigation is highly effective and there is little water lost to evaporation or runoff. It works well in mulched areas because it directly soaks the soil without washing away the mulch like hand watering will. Uneven slopes are not a problem.
The two disadvantages to drip irrigation are:
1) You will need help with properly installing and maintaining your drip system in order for it to work well.
2) Drip parts can be expensive.
The best watering system, in my opinion, is an automatic sprinkler system! Why? Because I love automation! An automatic sprinkler system will cover large areas for the amount of time you choose to water your lawn or garden. It saves a ton of time compared to hand watering. You don’t need to worry about hiring someone to water your lawn while you are out of town either. And it adds value to the price of your home if and when you choose to sell.
Automatic sprinkler systems do have their disadvantages:
1) They are less efficient than the other ways to water mentioned above, especially if you choose to use spray heads.
2) They are expensive to install.
3) They must be maintained regularly and require annual checkups.
4) Your water use and monthly bills may be higher than the other ways to water mentioned above.
Prevent over watering. Stop wasting your hard-earned money on inefficient watering systems. Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at (630) 444-0860 today for more information on efficient water usage. We care about our customers and how you can save money. Did this article teach you something new about the best way to water your lawn and garden? If so, leave a comment, or share your best efficient water usage tip.
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