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Early August 2010
Water conservation reminder; Always on Spotlight - Unclaimed property search; General Plan approved; Preservation Minute - Historical Downtown Buildings; Development Services Office now open; 5k for Clay and Recreation registration.
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  • Fall is Here--You Can Water Less!

    Fall AsterNow that we're officially into Fall and we've been enjoying the cooler temperatures; it's time to reduce the watering times on your irrigation controllers.  With less evaporation occurring, the landscape doesn't need to be watered as often as during the summer months.  My general rule of thumb is: cut watering in half during Fall and Spring

    Since we are still in water restrictions (no more than twice per week watering), the easiest and maybe best way to achieve this is simply turning off one of your watering days.  Now simply water once per week, but keep all of the minutes the same.

    In case you missed the blog I wrote back in early August about irrigation scheduling, I want to repeat some of that same information.  You can find the full blog here.  Basically, it's about how to determine how many minutes to set the various zones for.

    The main idea is that there are three items require some consideration when entering in how many minutes you are setting each station for-there's no point in having specialized heads, a shady yard, and native plants if everything is going to run for 20 minutes no matter what it is.  Unfortunately, I see that happen a lot.  There's also the consideration of soil type and soil depth; we're not going to get into that here, but it certainly does play a huge role in irrigation amounts.

    Amount of Light

    It may seem obvious, but I'm going to come out and say it anyway-shady areas require less water than sunny areas.  If you have good tree coverage and areas of the yard receive less than 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, that's considered a shady yard.  So, when entering time into your controller, you know that the times should be higher for the sunny spots and lower for the shady ones.American Beautyberry

    Head Type

    There are two main sprinkler head types-rotor and spray.  There is also drip irrigation, which technically has no head at all!

    • Rotor heads, if you remember, rotate, so they are not watering the same area the entire time they are running, therefore, they need to run for a longer period of time than spray heads.
    • Since spray heads are stationary, they pop-up and stay watering the same spot the entire time, they can run for a shorter amount of time than rotors.
    • Drip irrigation is different. Drip typically emits water very slowly, very minimally, so it oftentimes needs to run for longer periods-30 minutes at minimum or much longer in many cases

    Plant Material

    Landscape (read: living plant) material is the last component of the irrigation scheduling trifecta.  It may be obvious as well, but it does need to be said-areas with no vegetation really don't need to be watered.  The bare ground will just be muddy.  Same goes for rocky paths, they don't grow.  Mulched areas don't grow.  Driveways, sidewalks, patios, and decks don't grow.  Pools don't need to be filled by the sprinklers. 

    Native plants, established shrubs, or other established perennials do not, I repeat, do not need the same amount of water as the grass.  That's why you've planted them-they are native!  They are made for our climate and weather conditions.   So, turn those stations off completely and just water when they look stressed (i.e. droopy leaves, limbs first thing in the morning). 

    You may have picked up that there's no exact time that works for every station or even every yard!  Irrigation systems unfortunately aren't just a turn it on and forget it.  It will take a little tweaking to determine how few minutes the yard will perform well on, and it may need to be changed every year as the trees grow and give out more shade.     

    Here's a watering schedule I follow, when irrigation is necessary during the Fall (October, maybe November) months:

    Plant Exposure Type of Sprinkler Head Days Runtime (minutes)
    St. Augustine

    sun

    spray

    as needed, max. 1x/wk

    10 to 15

       

    rotor

    as needed, max. 1x/wk

    15 to 20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

    Bermudagrass

    sun

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    10

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

    Zoysia japonica (wide blade zoysia, El Toro, JaMur, Palisades)

    sun

    spray

    as needed, max. 1x/wk

    10 to 15

       

    rotor

    as needed, max. 1x/wk

    20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

    Buffalograss

    sun

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    10 to 15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

    Common shrubs

    sun

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    10 to 15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

    Common groundcovers

    sun

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    10-15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

     

    shade

    spray

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    15

       

    rotor

    rarely, 1x per 2 wks

    20

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • That ship has sailed. Hope there were books aboard...

    Did you celebrate New Year’s last week? Beginning October 1, City of Round Rock is operating in fiscal year 2014-15. Friends of the Round Rock Public Library hosted a clever “End of Fiscal Year” event on September 30 for staffers with homemade goodies, non-alcoholic fruit "champagne" in glamorous... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 10-08-2014 | with no comments
  • Catch the rain before it's gone!

    Once again, the huge amount of rains in the last weeks have made me think a lot about how to take more advantage of rainwater, or really, just collect more. Which leads me to a question I was asked once that was along the lines of "I feel like I should be collecting rainwater, but don't have... MORE»
  • Feeling listless?

    Which of these is the wrong answer to a reference question? A. You're kidding, right? B. Sorry, no can do. C. Ummmmm.... D. All of the above I did use "C" recently--following up, thankfully, with useful information. A customer I'd assisted weeks ago with "readalike" suggestions... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 09-23-2014 | with no comments
  • That's the spirit

    This happened before Youtube and smartphones; otherwise the moment would have inevitably been shared: we're among a summertime gaggle of tourists entering the Alamo--pausing inside the threshold to consider worn, hand-fashioned walls scarred by history. A visitor farther back in line surveys the... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 09-05-2014 | with no comments
  • Rain Barrel Sale Going on Now

    The City's Water Conservation Program is having a rain barrel sale! The barrels being sold are being supplied from a different company than the last sales. These barrels are made in Austin, so a little more local. Available for this event are three different sizes (capacity) of barrels and a rainspout... MORE»
  • Do I Have a Water Leak?

    During the hottest parts of the year the phone calls increase with concerns from people asking if they have a water leak, or maybe their neighbor is using their water to fill up their pool. There's just no way they had used that much water this past month. Or the meter reader must have read the meter... MORE»
  • Travel essentials: cheese, diamonds, someone to watch your back

    At the Reference Desk, fear of disappointing our customers should we not possess (or can't for some reason retrieve) the information they seek is ever present. But last Friday a library patron was let down when I did know something. Appreciating the wonderfully illustrated article received via email... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-15-2014 | with no comments
  • Smart Irrigation Month, part 4

    While it's technically NOT Smart Irrigation Month any more, I wanted to make sure I got this last part of the series out to you, it's probably the most important of the bunch. I'm referring to efficient scheduling of the irrigation system, based on the amount of sunlight in your yard, the... MORE»
  • How to be a novel employee

    We're sometimes asked whether folks who apply for City of Round Rock jobs are required to live here. No--and that's a good thing. Employees who reside elsewhere can share insights from those municipalities experienced from the customer point of view. As one of the resident CORR employees who... MORE»
    Posted to Reader's Exchange (Library) by Linda Sappenfield on 08-01-2014 | with no comments
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