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hopewell-junction-sprinkler-systemUp to 50 percent of water used in landscape irrigation is wasted.

Think about that for a moment. The average homeowner uses a third of their water on landscape irrigation — enough to fill more than 900 bathtubs — and half of that is wasted.

We care enough about the environment to carry our own reusable bags to the grocery store and refill our own plastic water bottles over and over, but it can be easy to forget how much water we use and waste to keep our outdoor living spaces looking lush and healthy.

Good news: July is Smart Irrigation Month, a great time to become more aware of your watering habits and look for ways to be more efficient and all-around smarter about irrigation.

There are plenty of benefits to smart irrigation, even beyond wasting less water. Smart irrigation saves you money. It provides the best possible care to your landscape. It protects your community’s water supply and helps cut down on future investments your community will have to make to store and transport water — which saves the municipality and the taxpayers (that’s you!) money.

Smart irrigation tip #1: Choose the right plants

From the annuals and perennials in your beds to the turf you select to cover your lawn, one way to ensure smarter irrigation from the start is choosing the right plants. Picking plant life that’s native to New York (or at least suited to our region’s AHS heat zone) will require less water from the start.

Smart irrigation tip #2: Group similar plants together

Group plants with similar water needs near one another so whatever type of irrigation you use — overhead sprinklers, drip irrigation or hand watering — will be as effective as possible.

(If you need advice on plants with similar watering needs that will look beautiful together, consider chatting with the landscape design pros at Neave Landscaping!)

Smart irrigation tip #3: Mulch!

Mulch is a great natural barrier that helps conserve moisture within soil and lower soil temperatures around your plants’ roots. Mulch also prevents erosion and reduces weed growth, and it can help create an overall clean look in your landscape while you’re being smart about your irrigation.

Smart irrigation tip #4: Keep your irrigation system tuned up — and up to date

Malfunctioning sprinkler systems can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water in a single season, but properly maintained systems are efficient and could even help directly save you money.

Systems labeled the WaterSense designation can help save up to 30 percent more water. They produce streams with larger water droplets that can resist wind, prevent evaporation and reduce overwatering. Using smart controller systems also helps save water by analyzing data on weather and soil moisture to water when your plants need it — not when an arbitrary timer flips a switch.

And drip irrigation conserves water by delivering water directly to areas that need it most. Almost ALL the water goes directly to plant base and into the roots.

Smart irrigation tip #5: Work with a professional

And finally — c’mon, the post wouldn’t be complete without a plug — one of the simplest ways to irrigate smarter and more efficiently is letting a professional handle it

The experienced pros at Neave Irrigation can help you devise a smart irrigation system for your landscape, and if you’re starting from scratch, the rest of the Neave Group Outdoor Solutions team can design, build and help you maintain a landscape that works together harmoniously — for the benefit of your wallet and your water supply. Call us at (845) 463-0592, or fill out our web form to have someone in our office contact you.

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