Your lawn and garden can do a lot to increase the value of your property and to increase its attractiveness on the market when you get ready to sell. However, landscaping is a long term commitment of time, energy and money. Regular care and maintenance are necessary to protect your investment and keep your plants looking vibrant and healthy throughout the year. However, learning to water your lawn and garden more efficiently can significantly reduce the cost of upkeep of your Orlando irrigation systems.
When to Water
When you water has a significant impact on your overall water usage. The best time to water your lawn and gardens is in the early morning hours just around sunrise and in the evening around sunset. These times give the ground a better chance to absorb more of the water before it evaporates. If you wait to water until later in the day, then you are wasting water. During the hottest part of the day water is evaporated into the air quickly, before it has a chance to penetrate into the ground or to do your plants much good. You can reduce evaporation in your garden and flowerbeds by topping the soil with mulch.
How often you water your landscape also has an effect on how much water you use. It is better to water thoroughly once or twice a day than to water moderately periodically throughout the day. You should aim at peek saturation in the morning and again in the evening if you have plants that require a lot of water. Saturating the ground improves your water usage in two ways. Firstly, since more water is locked into the soil it provides a more constant source of water throughout the day. Secondly, by deeply saturating the ground you stimulate your plants to grow deeper roots which improves their efficiency in absorbing water from the soil.
You don't want to over-saturate the ground. Standing pools of water will only evaporate as the sun rises and be wasted. Water your lawn and garden until pools are just beginning to form. You can improve the water retention of your soil by mixing in compost periodically.
How to Water
Using automatic underground sprinkler systems can be very appealing to homeowners, especially those without a lot of time to devote to gardening and landscape maintenance. However, this form of irrigation is not the most water efficient. Sprinkler systems not only tend to overwater, but they also lose more water to evaporation due to the fine mists that they eject. If you are going to use an automatic sprinkler system on your lawn or garden, consider installing an above ground drip system instead of pop-up sprinklers. Drip lines not only lose less water to evaporation, but they do a better job of deeply penetrating the soil.
The best means of efficiently watering is to do it by hand. If you use a hose and sprinkler head , or even a portable sprinkler system, then you have complete control of where your water is going and how much you are using. You can accurately gauge the saturation of the soil and eliminate excess water usage.