Arizona Water Awareness

Tips for Irrigation and Plant Watering

      Irrigation System
    • Use the manual option to turn on your irrigation controller and then check for leaks and other water-wasting problems.
    • Use a soil probe or very long screwdriver to test how deep the water has sunk in.
    • Find landscape professionals who are familiar with water-efficient irrigation technology and practices.
    • Check all outdoor hoses, connectors, and spigots regularly. Repair leaks as necessary.
    • Turn off your automatic watering systems when it rains or install a rain sensor to do this automatically.
    • Plan, design and install an efficient irrigation system-- and adjust your watering schedule at last four times a year.
    • Make sure your controller lets you run stations on different schedules; some desert-adapted plants only need to be watered once or twice a month!
    • Find out if you can get water rebate for installing a gray water system.
    • Calculate how much gray water your family produces (35 gallons per day x number of family members) to help determine your gray water storage needs.
    • Find out if you can get a rebate for installing a rainwater harvesting system. Look for rebate information on the WAM calendar.
      Watering Plants
    • Water small plants to a depth of 1 foot, larger shrubs to 2 feet, and trees to 3 feet. Use a soil probe or a very long screwdriver to test how deep the water has sunk in.
    • Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep, strong root systems that can tolerate longer periods between watering.
    • Encourage rainwater to spread and soak into your landscape instead of allowing it to quickly run off.
    • Collect water from your roof by installing gutters and downspouts, and keep them free of debris.
    • Evaluate your landscape to see what needs to be done to direct rainwater to planting areas.
    • Start the flow of water at the high point of your yard's watershed so that gravity will move the water to your plants.
    • Consider a "smart" controller that monitors local weather conditions and automatically adjusts when to irrigate your landscape ----no humans required.
    • Do not water your plants too much. More plants in Arizona landscapes die from over-watering than under-watering!
      Watering Turf
    • Water your lawn at night or in the early morning to keep evaporation at a minimum.
    • Check with your county cooperative extension office about the best types of lawn grass for your area.
    • Adjust sprinkler heads so they don't spray walls, driveways, or sidewalks.
    • Adjust your mower so that grass isn't cut too short; longer grass uses less water.
    • Spray your lawns with only as much water as the ground can absorb; areas with hard compacted soils may need to be watered in increments.
    • Don't use a sprinkler meant to water a 15-foot area when an eight-foot sprinkler will do.