GardenSMART :: Ways to Save Water in the Summer Heat Wave
Ways to Save Water in the Summer Heat Wave
Photographs courtesy of Toro
Throughout much of the country, the end of summer typically triggers the biggest heat wave of the year. At the height of a heat wave, everything can be impacted in some way − the air we breathe, the plants we grow, and the grass we walk on. Even our moods are affected. And, everywhere you turn, you're being told to be mindful of water use, which only makes the extreme heat even harder to deal with.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways to save water in the summer heat without sacrificing your sanity. Water experts are correct when they advise you to practice common sense water usage by…
Turning Off Faucets
When brushing your teeth, for instance. This change in behavior can have a significant impact on the amount of water you use.
This can be done in a variety of ways. Water from children's swimming pools, pet drinking water and even cooled-down cooking water can be used to water grass and plants. Repurposing water is one of the most frequently recommended ways to save water, especially as more people look to adopt sustainable practices and conserve on the resources they use.
Use Leftover Ice
Instead of disposing of ice down the drain from your cooler or finished drink, use it to quench the thirst of your favorite plant – indoors or out.
Smarten Your Swamp Cooler
If your home or business uses an evaporative cooler, consider retrofitting or switching to a re-circulating system that can help you save on both water and electricity!
Water During Off-Peak Hours
This means programming your sprinklers to run before sunrise or after sunset, which has become a mandate in many cities throughout the western part of the U.S. Even if your city does not impose restrictions on when to water, it is a good practice for saving water as it helps prevent the evaporation of moisture due to the sun. In addition to these smart watering practices, consider the following Toro products to help you keep a summer-smart watering schedule:
Toro® landscape drip irrigation products deliver water directly to the roots, which is exactly where it counts. These drip systems range from simple hose-end systems for pots and flowerboxes to sophisticated systems for your entire landscape or garden – including sub-surface drip irrigation for your turf grass. In fact, there are drip products designed specifically for every part of your yard, so you can save water even in a heat wave. Whether you need to water for 10 minutes, 2 hours or any length of time in between, you can program your landscape drip to operate for the time frame you choose. This is one of the best ways to save water in the summer.
Toro's Precision™ Series Spray Nozzles feature proprietary H20 Chip Technology for ultimate efficiency. Designed to distribute a precipitation rate of one inch per hour, these nozzles help you manage water usage precisely and eliminate water-wasting runoff. Available in a wide variety of arcs and radii, which make them ideal for small to medium lawns, they use up to 35% less water than a standard sprinkler nozzle without sacrificing results. They also easily install on your existing sprinklers, including non-Toro bodies. Simply unscrew the old inefficient nozzle, and screw on an efficient Precision™ Series Spray nozzle and start saving water immediately. These nozzles let you have your lawn and save water too, even in the summer heat.
If you want high-tech ways to save water in the summer, the EVOLUTION® controller is the way to go. This is what we recommend to all homeowners who want total programmability over their irrigation systems, because it enables users to keep lawns lush and green with the touch of a button. The controller integrates seamlessly with Toro's Smart Connect® receiver, which wirelessly communicates with soil and rain sensors to automatically adjust watering schedules and run times for your local weather conditions. High-tech irrigation lets you program your system and walk away, so you can enjoy the things that really matter and let your system do the watering without wasting water.
By combining the practical, common-sense solutions we recommend with any of the Toro products suggested here, you can survive the end-of-summer heat wave while saving water.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
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