Tag Archives: watering

Improving Water Use in Your Yard

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.

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Landscape Irrigation Guide

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:

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Saving Plants from Overwatering or Underwatering

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.

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Vegetable Gardening Tips

There are many things that prompt people to think about starting their own vegetable gardens. Maybe they’ve purchased their first home and have a backyard for the first time. Maybe they’ve made some lifestyle choices towards eating healthier and want to try to grow their own fresh produce. Maybe they want to start a new hobby and gardening is interesting to them. No matter the case, vegetable gardening can be a great endeavor to embark upon for people young and old.

At first the whole concept of growing vegetables can seem rather daunting when someone is first starting out. Keeping some basic concepts in mind can help make growing vegetables much easier and hopefully more successful.

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Growing the perfect lawn

Owning a home in most cases also means tending to the landscaping and lawnLawn 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.

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Tips for watering your vegetable garden

Aubergine Scorpio

Gardeners have watering habits that vary widely they may leave their plants to sit dry until they are almost withering or they might pamper the plants by drowning them in too much water. Either of these extremes goes on to stress the plant and the weak ones are usually the first ones to fall prey to diseases and bugs. This results in fewer vegetables and blooms being produced.

Watering might look simple but in essence, it’s not. It takes finesse to actually water your plants properly.  When it comes to vegetables, they are usually quite demanding.

To cut down your water usage where water conservation is concerned, consider the following tips:

Whenever you add compost to your type of soil, you reduce your plant’s need for frequent watering. Studies done have established that when you increase organic matter by 5%, this quadruples the soil’s capacity to hold water.

Using mulch is also another way to reduce the need for water because evaporation is reduced. This helps in cooling the soil or warming it depending on the mulch type used. Mulch has been known to reduce your plants’ water needs by about 50% and in the event that you’re not sure what to use, consider straw. The reason for this is because as it breaks down, it adds organic matter to your soil type so consider using a thick layer that is about 1-3 inches.

Using irrigation is the preferred option and here is where you should consider using the Wise Orchard smart water valve because it not only conserves water, but it also gives your plants exactly what they need without causing unnecessary stress. Knowing how much your garden needs and ensuring that moisture is retained while also distributing water in your garden effectively is another amazing use of the Wise Orchard smart water valve.

Decide to get one for yourself today and your garden will thank you!

If you haven’t done so already, you should subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on Wise Orchard and receive gardening tips.