Watering Tips: Save Money, See Plants Thrive

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 

At least half the water used by a typical North Valley home goes into the yard. Fed up with high water bills and endless repairs, some opt to turn off their irrigation systems for good. Incredibly, their unwatered yards may be largely indistinguishable from yards watered daily.

If you abruptly terminate watering, some plants will die. But watering too much can also be detrimental. Among the signs of overwatering: leaves that are green but brittle, or that turn pale or even yellow.

Over the years, we’ve collected informal data on the irrigation practices of thousands of homeowners in our area. Comparing that with guidelines from the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (www.amwua.org), it’s clear most homeowners significantly overwater. The AMWUA guidelines recommend approximately:

Every two weeks during the late spring warm-up.

Once per week in the hottest, driest parts of the year (late May into July).

Once every 10 days if getting moisture during monsoon season.

Every 30 days in winter.

The primary considerations for watering are plant type, size and age. Younger and non-native plants need water more frequently. Older plants thrive with deeper, wider area waterings. Follow the “1-2-3” depth rule:

1 foot Annuals, lantana and small cacti

2 feet Medium-sized plants like sage and vines

3 feet Large plants and trees

These guidelines refer primarily to drought-tolerant plants and cacti—exactly what many HOAs mandate. Hibiscus, roses and citrus need more frequent watering. Plants on mounds or in tight spaces can present additional water-monitoring challenges.

Watch for signs of stress. If plants wilt in the heat, they likely need more water (adjust the irrigation timer, or consider supplementing with a hose).

See other tips at www.wateruseitwisely.com, or give us a call and we’ll evaluate your plants and your irrigation setup.

Jason Plavala, AZ YardWorks | SPONSORED CONTENT
This article was written by the sponsor.

Jason Plavala, AZ YardWorks | SPONSORED CONTENT

This article was written by the sponsor.

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