Water is becoming a hotly debated commodity in many areas, with increasing restrictions or regulations being placed on homeowners to conserve this limited resource as much as possible. With a significant portion of the water used by homeowners for landscaping and gardens, improving water use efficiency in your yard is a great place to help with conservation. By implementing the following recommendations, you can reduce your water use by up to 75%!
Design a landscape plan before putting in your turfgrass and other plants. Group plants together that have similar watering requirements. Also, use the natural terrain or landscape features to your advantage. If you have low areas that tend to collect water, plant species with high water needs there; choose drought-tolerant plants for high spots that drain water quickly.
Improve the soil, so it retains more water. One of the best things you can do to optimize plant growth and water conservation is giving your plants a great soil to grow in. Add finished compost or another type of organic matter to all of your flower and garden beds before planting, tilling it into the soil. This increased organic matter will help hold onto the water and improve the soil structure so the roots can grow freely through the soil, accessing water that is found naturally, below the surface.
Cover bare soil. Homeowners often overlook this simple tip to improving water efficiency, but covering exposed soil surfaces helps to significantly decrease the amount of water lost from the soil to evaporation. Add 2 to 5” of mulch to your flower and garden beds, keeping it away from the stems of your plants, to improve the soil water retention by upwards of 70%.
Optimize your sprinkler system. Installing a sprinkler system, especially an automated one, is a great way to optimize your water use when done correctly. It’s essential though, to install the correct system for your landscape and the plants. Utilize features such as dripper heads, and soaker lines where you can instead of only using spray heads that aren’t as efficient. Make sure the system is well maintained, and there aren’t any leaks or busted components that are wasting water.
Water wisely by using an irrigation timer. Having an automatic sprinkler system is a great feature, especially if you are prone to traveling during the summer, or are merely forgetful; it handles all of the watering events after the initial set up. But it isn’t without its flaws! Consider adding a smart irrigation controller that adjusts the watering schedule automatically by monitoring the local weather and accounting for cooler temperatures and rainfall events.
Create a deeper, more extensive root system on your plants. A longer root system on your plants and grass helps make them more drought-resistant. Instead of watering a little bit of water frequently, such as daily, arrange it so you apply a greater amount of water, less often. This naturally encourages the root system to lengthen and grow deeper into the soil.
Time watering to reduce evaporation. A significant portion of the water applied to your landscape has the potential to be lost to evaporation. To help minimize water loss, water during the cooler times of day – early morning and later in the evening are best – when evaporation is minimized. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the afternoon whenever possible. Wise Orchard does this automatically for you with its smart watering mode!
Make sure you are fertilizing correctly. When it comes to fertilizing, this isn’t a situation where more is better. Too much fertilizer triggers vegetative growth in your plants; more growth means more water used. On the flip side, though, if you under fertilize your plants, they become stressed from nutrient deficiencies and won’t use water efficiently. So you must fertilize your lawn and plants at recommended rates.
Mow your grass to the recommended height. All grass types have a recommended height range for mowing. During the hottest part of summer, stay to the upper limit of recommended heights to minimize evaporation and encourage the root system to move deeper into the soil.
Aerate or dethatch your turfgrass as needed. Over time your turf creates a layer of dead or decomposing grass shoots, stems, and roots forms between the grass blades and soil surface. This layer of “thatch” creates a barrier that keeps water from moving down into the soil. Aerating or dethatching (two different procedures) helps by putting holes through the thatch, or reducing it overall, to improve water movement to the roots.
You don’t have Wise Orchard yet? Get it now! It’s easy to install like a hose timer, it connects directly to your Wi-Fi and you can control it from your smartphone.
In areas of lower rainfall, many homes have irrigation systems installed to supplement insufficient precipitation levels. The benefits of having an irrigation system for your landscape go much further than simply providing water to your lawn and plants.
Professional Installation versus DIY
Installing your own irrigation system can be a big project to tackle, but some homeowners do opt to do it themselves. If you’re not the DIY type keep a few things in mind when hiring a sprinkler/irrigation company to complete the work.
When looking for a professional contractor look for one that:
Plants need three basic things to grow: sunlight, water, and nutrients. When any of those components is out of balance growth will negatively be affected, and the plant will suffer. A common problem many homeowners face is making sure their plants are watered correctly. Water is an important component in many processes that occur within the plant, but both overwatering and underwatering can cause big problems.
Problems with Overwatering or Underwatering
Plants need water for many of the biological processes that occur within their cells. Much of this water is taken in through the roots from the soil.
Overwatering is a problem because it starves the roots of much-needed oxygen.
Open space between soil particles is occupied by both water and air. When there is too much water applied to the soil it pushes air out of this free space, completely filling it with water instead. In essence, the plant’s roots can’t “breathe” and drown.
Underwatering slows down, or may even completely stop, photosynthesis, a process where water and carbon dioxide product glucose within the leaves of the plant.
How to Tell if Plants are Overwatered or Underwatered
The big challenge is that symptoms of incorrectly watering your plants are similar whether you’re giving them too much water, or not providing enough. You have to look closely at the plant and the soil to determine which condition is the cause of the symptoms being exhibited.
Owning a home in most cases also means tending to the landscaping and lawn on their property, and is a source of great pride for many. Landscaping accentuates the design of the home, it adds the final aesthetic touch to the residence, and the backyard is quite often used for entertaining during the summertime. Keeping a lawn vibrantly green, weed-free, and looking its best becomes an important priority to many homeowners.
It isn’t always an easy task to foster a lush lawn; most times it requires a multifaceted management approach. To keep grass looking pristine homeowners need to invest both time and money on the following aspects: watching the frequency and amount of water applied, keeping the grass adequately fed, mowing correctly, and performing routine maintenance. These factors encourage optimal growth and a desired shade of beautiful green.
What is smart watering all about? When we call Wise Orchard “smart” we usually mean it uses smart practices to conserve water and give your plants exactly what they need without causing unnecessary stress. Efficiency and saving are two main goals of smart watering.
Normally, you would need to be on top of things all the time. Smart watering is about knowing how much your garden needs, ensuring any moisture is retained, and distributing water in the garden effectively. With Wise Orchard in charge, that is no longer difficult and time-consuming. It will save you time and money over the long term while making a sustainable use of water resources. Conserve supply by applying water in a clever and responsible way.
We have put together a series of tips to help you get the most out of your smart garden with Wise Orchard:
Dear fans, we have very good news today: the Wise Orchard smart water valve is now available for pre-order. Our first batch will very soon be ready to ship out and we’re really excited!
These last 2-3 months have been really intense to get the hardware manufactured but our efforts have paid off. We’re at the moment working on improving the software so that it will be fully functional by the time we start shipping. The most important features regarding controlling and monitoring irrigation as well as weather-dependent watering schedule adjustment will be there, and we will be including additional features afterwards.
Your feedback, that of our beta-testers and our first customers, will help us constantly improve to make exactly the product that you want. Thank you for your support.
Hi everyone! Sorry for the long time without updates from us. Over the past few months we’ve discovered how hard it can be to start manufacturing a new product. We have been really busy trying to get everything right.
Fortunately, we are making good progress and we can now provide much more accurate estimates on availability: some units will ship to beta-testers mid-May, and we expect to be able to deliver to everyone else in late June. Pre-orders will start some time in June.
And yes, that sexy image you can see in this post is Wise Orchard’s final look. A vast majority of those of you who filled in our poll preferred a less flashy colour than green for the enclosure, and we agree. Grey is inconspicuous and a good option to make sure the only green that shines in your garden is that of your favorite plants!
Thank you all for your support and suggestions, we are counting on you.
Hi everyone and happy thanksgiving for our US fans. Winter is coming and most of your gardens probably don’t need much water anymore. But, did you know there are many things you can do in preparation for the spring? Read on, we’ve linked a few good guides about winter sowing and growing at the end of this article.
Hi everyone! We hope you’re having a great summer. At Wise Orchard we’ve been busy coming up with a final design for our smart watering valve and we’re now ready to share some photos with you.
As you can see, it’s a bit thinner (not cubic) and it fits perfectly in the “hanging from faucet” configuration. We’re using a swivel nut so that you don’t need to rotate the valve at any time (which is convenient if both ends of your irrigation system are fixed -a buried hose that you can’t rotate, for example). A double mesh filter has been implemented too.