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Outdoor Water Conservation

Irrigation Inspection

General Tips

  • Let it grow. Let your grass grow to a height of 2.5 inches. Taller grass shades new growth and reduces evaporation.
  • 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.
  • Add organic mulch. Mulch is great for the garden. It acts 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 simply 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”


The biggest water waster in Kelowna!

Inefficient, poorly maintained and improperly timed automatic irrigation systems are the biggest waster of water in Kelowna. Check the Irrigation System Efficiency page for details on how to get the most out of your irrigation system. 

Looking for Something Different?

Artificial turf is a good alternative to maintaining a traditional lawn. It’s not for everyone and it’s not inexpensive, but if you never want to mow, water, weed or fertilize again, it might be the right option for you. 

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