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Town Talk: Lawn and garden watering

Record high temperatures coupled with unusually dry weather conditions can cause stress to your gardens, lawns, and plantings. With increased use of water, some homes are noticing lower than usual water pressures. Responsible irrigation of your gardens, lawns and other plantings will help water pressures to stabilize and at the same time result in healthy plants and grass.

Lawns consume the largest portion of irrigation water. Gardens and yard plantings benefit from the same rate of water application as lawns. Professional landscape services and golf course managers recommend that lawns need one to two inches of water each week to be healthy. Two thirds of a gallon of water applied to one square foot of lawn is equivalent to one inch of water. To calculate how much water you are applying to your garden or lawn, you can measure by using a rain gauge or an empty shallow open top container placed in the middle of the area being watered. To apply one inch of water on 1000 square feet, it will require 625 gallons of water.

The total amount of water should be applied in two or three applications each week, instead of one session per week, to benefit the plants. In order to get the most efficient use of irrigation water, the best time to sprinkle the lawn is between dawn and 8 AM. Watering during the hot part of the day results in evaporation of the water applied and reduces the benefit to the lawn and plants.

It is best to irrigate your lawn two to three times per week trying not to overwater since this will increase the likelihood of mold and disease damaging your plants. Water before the heat of the day which will allow most of the water too seep deep into the soil and the leaves of grass to dry out.

Responsible irrigation will help reduce the stress on your gardens, lawns and other planting and will help stabilize the water pressure to area homes.

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