Florida gardening: Irrigation tips for the dry season – TCPalm

Gardening Mag

Florida gardening: Irrigation tips for the dry season – TCPalm


Lawns are the indicator of when the landscape needs irrigation. Turf can be acclimatized to be more drought tolerant with several simple adjustments. When the irrigation runs, soak the root zone and do not water again until the grass needs it. Mow high, taller grass promotes deep rooting and keep the mower blade sharp; sharp edges make cleaner cuts that cause less water loss.

It is windy, hot and rain has been rare; signs we are in the midst of a typical Florida dry season. On top of that, the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center released a few weeks ago — https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php — indicates drought conditions may develop in South Florida soon. 

Some landscapes are showing the signs of dry weather and poor irrigation coverage and others are over-watered and full of dollar weed. It is possible to have a beautiful landscape and conserve water.  

The tenets of a water-conscious landscape are simple. Plan for no or low water use by grouping plants in beds by water needs. Reduce turf areas, mulch everything and install low-volume irrigation systems on everything but turf. Calibrate the irrigation system and turn off the irrigation clock and water only when plants need it. 

In a mature landscape, the lawn determines water needs. For efficient water use, make sure the irrigation system — even if the “system” is a hose and sprinkler — is in good working order. Repair leaks
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