During the summer in Kansas City, outdoor water usage, such as for watering lawns, gardens and potted plants, typically accounts for around 30% of the average home’s total water usage. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that around 9 billion gallons of water are used every day for irrigating lawns and landscaping. Even worse, some studies have estimated that nearly 50% of this water is wasted due to issues like evaporation from heat and wind or runoff due to overwatering or inefficient watering systems. This waste is obviously a major concern since water is such a precious commodity. Another issue is that waste means most people pay much more for their water bills than what’s necessary. The good news is that there are some easy steps you can take to make your outdoor water usage more efficient.

Water at Night or in the Morning

Watering your lawn or garden during the day is a bad idea since it’s a major waste of water. When you water it during the day while it’s hot outside, much of the water ends up evaporating instead of soaking into the ground. If you water in the very early morning or at night when it’s cooler, most of the water will soak down into the soil before it can evaporate. That means you won’t need to leave the water on for as long. It also helps to keep your grass and plants healthier and happier since there will be much more water in the soil for them to absorb.

Use Timers for Your Watering

Most people have times when they forget to shut the water off when watering their lawn and garden. They finally remember a few hours later, or when they get up the next day. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can waste a huge amount of water. A typical sprinkler often uses around 500 to 1,000 gallons of water per hour. Leaving the water on for too long can also damage plants. Many plants don’t do well when the soil they’re in is extremely waterlogged.

This is where sprinklers and garden timers can be extremely useful. They ensure the water always turns on and then off at the same time each day. That means you won’t need to worry about forgetting to turn your hose or sprinkler off and wasting thousands of gallons of water. Another advantage is that you can set the timer so that water runs overnight or in the early morning hours. This is when the weather is cooler but you’re still asleep.

Monitor the Weather

Watering just before or after a rainstorm is a waste of water. This is another reason why controlling your watering with timers is a great choice. Any decent timer will have a rain delay function. With this feature, all you must do is press the rain delay button, and the timer won’t turn the water on that day. This feature also allows you to temporarily stop watering without having to shut the timer off or mess with the schedule.

Utilize a Smart Controller

The biggest mistake many people make is watering their lawn too often or for too long. In most cases, a lawn really doesn’t need much more than 1 inch of water twice or, maybe, three times a week. This is where replacing your sprinkler system’s existing controller with a smart controller can be huge as this will prevent overwatering.

Many smart controllers allow you to control your sprinkler system using an app on your phone, which can be useful when you’re on vacation. The biggest benefit is that smart controllers can monitor the weather and automatically prevent the sprinkler system from running or adjust the normal watering schedule when rain is predicted. Most smart controllers also come with an on-site rain sensor. As soon as it starts raining, the sensor will tell the controller to immediately shut off the sprinkler system or to adjust the watering schedule.

Many smart systems also use soil moisture sensors that detect how often the grass needs to be watered. This also impacts exactly how much watering is needed. The controller will ensure that your lawn only gets the amount of water it needs without needing to worry about overwatering. Depending on what type of controller you have, you may be able to convert it to a smart controller by connecting moisture sensors to it. While you won’t be able to control your sprinkler system from your phone like you can with a real smart controller, the sensors will still help to reduce water usage by preventing overwatering.

Use High-Efficiency Sprinkler Heads

Unless your sprinkler system was installed recently, all your sprinkler heads likely put out more water than they really need to. This is why you should consider replacing the existing sprinkler heads with high-efficiency ones. By doing so, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of water your sprinkler system uses by 10% to 20% while still ensuring your lawn gets sufficient water.

Opt for Drip Irrigation

If you’re not watering too much or too often, watering your grass with a normal sprinkler or sprinkler system is perfectly acceptable. This should ensure that every part of the lawn gets sufficient coverage and continues to thrive. However, sprinklers aren’t an ideal choice for watering vegetable gardens, flowers, shrubs, etc. Even if you have the sprinkler turned down low, it will still overspray and put out more water than necessary.

This is where options like drip lines, soaker hoses, and weeping hoses are a great choice. These types of hoses allow you to easily direct all the water to exactly where it’s needed, i.e., straight to the roots of all of your plants. Another advantage is that these types of hoses allow you to cut back on your water usage. They put out fewer gallons per minute compared to sprinklers.

Even though you’ll need to water your plants for longer, these options will make your watering more effective. That’s because they also water more slowly, which helps the water sink deeper into the soil instead of pooling up near the surface. This is helpful for your plants since it maximizes the amount of water that their roots can take in.

Choose Native Plants for Your Landscaping

Another easy way to conserve water is by using as many native flowers, shrubs, grasses, and other plants in your landscaping as you can. Native plants are perfectly adapted to the local climate and environment and typically don’t need to be watered much or even at all, except in cases of a prolonged dry spell. More and more people are also opting to use rock gardens for part of their landscaping with only a few plants. When done properly, this will not only allow you to save water but can also add a beautiful effect that boosts your home’s curb appeal.

Kansas City’s Home Service Experts

If you need any plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, or heating services in the Kansas City area, MVP Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electric is the company you can trust. Our team has years of experience in installation, maintenance, and repairs and is ready to help ensure your home’s most important systems function exactly as they should. If you need to schedule an appointment for any home service or have any questions, give MVP Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electric a call today.

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