Spring gave us a lovely show of deep greens and vibrant pinks, purples, and yellows from all the new blooms as well as beautiful weather with light breezes and not-too-hot, not-too-cold temperatures. Now, however, we will be entering the summer months and experiencing scorching heat and soaking humidity. One thing to look forward to is the opportunity for a summer vacation, but what will you do with your established landscaping while on vacation? Because of the heat, your plants and lawn will surely need more water than usual, but just how much water is enough and how much is too much?
One of the best ways to ensure the most efficient watering of your landscaping is using a sprinkler system that has a timer. You will want to set the timer for morning watering sessions. Morning watering times are the best for your yard because the temperature is not as hot as it will be in the afternoon. The water will get a chance to reach your lawn, instead of evaporating—a waste that can be easily avoided. Though watering in the evenings will reduce evaporation, it is not a good idea as your lawn will stay damp all night, which will promote the growth of certain bacterial diseases. The growth of bacterial diseases can also be from over watering. Thus, while you are on vacation, a rain sensor is a good tool to have so your sprinklers will not run during the rain.
Water waste is another potential disaster to look out for. This can occur from untimely watering, like mentioned above, or from your sprinkler heads not facing the right direction. Before going on vacation, be sure that your sprinkler heads are in the optimal position, facing your lawn and plants and avoiding as much as possible any hardscaping in and around your yard. Rotating sprinkler heads are a great way to avoid runoff, as they encourage the soil to soak up the water. If you do not have rotating sprinkler heads, set your timer to do watering intervals that are broken up by a 15-minute break, that way the soil can soak up the water and the runoff will be minimized.
Don’t be discouraged by the heat if you cannot get a neighbor or a friend to water your landscaping while you are out of town. A sprinkler system with a timer and a rain sensor is a tool you can use to increase the beauty and livelihood of your landscaping. There are a few things to consider when setting your timer, like watering times, rain schedules and sprinkler head direction. But making these considerations will surely reduce stress concerning your landscaping while on vacation and upon returning home.
If you have any landscaping-related questions, please drop us a comment below or email email@example.com; your question and answer will appear right here in The Scoop from the Soil Up.