6 Basics of Water Wise Landscaping

By using simple concepts that conserve water in our landscapes we can cut our water usage in half or in some cases up to 80%. This is possible and will actually improve the health of your plant material especially your beautiful lawns. These concepts consist of 6 basic principles: 1. Hydro-zone the sprinkler system, 2. Plant Selection, 3. Shrink the turf. 4. Proper/smart irrigation techniques, 5. Soil quality, and 6. Use of mulch.
 
Beautiful gardens start with beautiful plants 1. Hydro-zone the sprinkler system. Grouping plant material in the landscape based on water needs is called Hydro-zoning. Zoning plants this way is beneficial in that each zone gets the amount of water the plants in that zone need, instead of watering the entire area based on the plants with the highest water needs. This can be done with out a complete over haul of your sprinkler system by replanting plant material according to water needs adjusting your irrigation controller programs to water differently based on each hydro-zone or installing a smart irrigation controller. 

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How can a flow sensor help me

Water meters are installed at most properties to enable water departments to bill you for the water you use.  Some water utilities may only read meters 6 times a year and send out bills every two months.  Customers discover weeks later how much water they used.
 
A flow sensor is similar to a water meter; it measures the flow of water going through the pipe and feeds the flow rate into electronic control equipment.  With a flow sensor connected to irrigation control devices water managers can track water use in real-time; not having to wait to get the water bill. 
 

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How do you SELL Climate Controlled Irrigation

There's no doubt about it, smart irrigation is definitely an up-sell, and it’s tough! I speak to contractors, distributors, and water managers all day long who have this common issue. What is my answer? ROI of course!
 
ROI (Return on Investment) is the biggest component of why smart irrigation is so useful and necessary. Now I’m not just talking about the dollars and bills. I’m also talking about the return you receive with the landscape, with water conservation, and especially with TIME.
Time and money seem to be the two things people are most concerned about, just below their families and values. Whether you’re a contractor, or water/property manager the time making you and your clients spend on their watering is invaluable. That’s why climate controlled irrigation is the answer.
 

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The Water Truck

You may not believe this story, but it’s true.  A business colleague called me a couple weeks ago about a commercial landscape project he was involved with.  To save water, the landscape was to be watered with a water truck.  No sprinkler system was to be installed.  When the contractor ran a five year cost projection, it was going to cost $150,000.00 more to use a water truck than to put in a sprinkler system and pay for the water.  The explanation given to the contractor was, less water would be used because they would only bring in the water truck when the plants needed water. 
 

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Know When to Water

There is a lot we can talk about with these four simple words.
Let me start with Marian Webster has to say:

Know - "to have understanding"
When - "at what time"
To - ".. a function word to indicate an action...."
Water - "to moisten, sprinkle, or soak with water "

If we take the word "know" out of the phrase, the idea is simple "at what time do we take action to moisten with water?" Most sprinkler controllers don't know when to water, they are programmed to come on a set a time. Standard sprinkler controllers do not understand the plant's need for water. That  four letter word "know" makes all the difference. Without knowing when to water we will either waste water or stress plants.

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