The Water Spot

The City's water conservation program coordinator will write about interesting information relating to City water projects, water reuse projects, water conservation program and rebates, drought information and timely news regarding water use within Round Rock.

When (Not) to Water

One of the most hotly talked about topics when it comes to watering your yard is: When do I water? or another version is: Does it need water? Is the answer "on Wednesday", because that's my day? Or when the plant actually needs it?? You can probably guess the right answer, but it's hard to know when, exactly, the plant needs it. I can help you determine when it doesn't need it.

With the rain showers we've had recently, it may not be necessary to water at all. Knowing how much rain has fallen in your yard helps make the first--and really, most important--decision for you: is it even necessary for me to water today? The rainfall measurements I take at my house don't always match up to the City's collected amounts at the Water Treatment Plant (which aren't too far apart), so I highly encourage you to take your own rainfall measurement.

The rule of thumb is that half an inch of water is enough on a weekly basis for the spring, fall, and parts of summer. Less than that is needed in winter. More, during the heat of summer. So having a rain gauge, any simple one, is the first way to judge if water is needed. All you have to do is check the gauge to see how much rain your house recieved, if close to 1/2-inch or greater, then no watering is needed. Easy! 

To help make that even easier for you, the City's Water Conservation Program is giving out free rain gauges like the one pictured. You can pick one up at the Utility Billing Office in City Hall (limit one per address). There's a limited supply, of course, but try to get one if you can.

Now, thanks to Mother Nature's rainfall, you can leave your irrigation system off for about a week for every half inch of rain--depending on the current temperatures.  With the current storms and the temperatures in the low 90s, no outdoor watering is necessary for the next week.  Enjoy letting nature do the work for you!


JFerris said:

Great post Jessica, but you forget another way to save water for the lawn.  A Zoysia lawn might require HALF the water St. Augustine does.  And a Buffalo grass lawn can survive on just 15 inches of rain per year.  You might not need to water it at all.

But you are correct.  Watering the correct amount, at the correct time, can save a lot of water and still leave you with green turf.

# September 20, 2013 9:20 PM

Jessica Woods said:

I agree with your comments, JF, certain grasses need much less water to live, but often find that even with a drought tolerent grass, folks want to water the same amount--usually too much. It's not always the grass so much being a water hog, it's the person turning on or setting the sprinkler.  There's an education component that's missing, that grass doesn't always need to be or have to be watered.  That's another blog topic!

# September 23, 2013 8:04 AM
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