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Outdoor Water Conservation

Irrigation Inspection

General Tips

  • Power of design. There are a number of ways to create a water-efficient landscape.    
  • Let it grow. Let your grass grow to a height of 2.5 inches. Taller grass shades new growth and reduces evaporation.    
  • Add organic compost and mulch. Compost and mulch are great for gardens. Both can act as a protective cover for plants, keeping the soil cool and moist and discouraging weed growth. Organic mulches like pine bark, shredded cedar, or wood chips are ideal. Avoid rocks as they retain heat, increasing the need to water. Read more about the benefits of compost.    
  • Sharpen your blade. Keep the blades of your mower sharp. Dull blades tear the grass leaving it open to disease and heat stress.
  • Over-seed. Introduce a mix of drought tolerant fescue grasses to your existing turf. Over-seeding should be done while fertilizing, top-dressing or aerating.
  • Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers. They promote temporary growth only and lead shallow roots.
  • Efficient Irrigation System. Ensure your irrigation system is doing it's job by checking the sprinkler heads regularly and setting the timer properly. Inefficient systems can become a huge and unnecessary water waster.   
  • Know when to water. The best times are between 10 pm and 6 am. Avoid watering in the hot sun. You’ll lose almost 50 per cent of the water to evaporation.
  • Know how much & often to water. This is the age-old question. Everyone is looking for a “formula” that will tell them how much and how often to water. Unfortunately, no such formula exists. Everyone’s landscape is different; soil conditions vary, exposure to sun and shade varies, etc. But generally, we do not have to water as much as we think we do.

The following is a general guide for how much water an Okanagan lawn needs in an average year:

 

April/May/June

July/August

Sept/Oct

Inches of water per week

0.9”

1.4”

0.6” 

Inches of water per month

3.5”

 7”

 3”




Contact Us

Have a question regarding water use? Contact the Water Smart team at watersmart@kelowna.ca or 250 469-8502.

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