A new level of water saving
Water is no longer something we can take for granted. Today, we’re using more water than ever and wasting more than we should, especially outside. This creates an impact for us at a personal, community and global level. Fortunately, we have the power to improve the situation.
Here are a few facts, tips and answers to why getting smarter in the garden is so important.
Smart Fact #1
Landscaping adds an average of 14% to a home’s value. Research has also shown that homes with attractive landscaping sell quicker.
Smart Fact #2
Around 40% of household water is used outdoors, of which as much as 50% is wasted.
Smart Fact #3
Smart technology reduces the annual water bills by as much as 30%.
Smart Fact #4
Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimises evaporation by 30%.
Smart Fact #5
Using a sensor-based controller can reduce irrigation water usage by up to 70%.
Smart Fact #6
Shade cast by trees can cool the landscape by as much as 20°C, reducing heat building and water evaporation from the soil.
Understanding water waste
Over-watering causes damage to hardscapes such as paths and driveways. Over-watering also injures plants. When plants don’t look healthy it is tempting to give them more water. Often this is a mistake, because in many instances too much water mimics the signs of too little water. Below are five signs to determine if plants are getting too much water.
Overwatering drowns your plant. Soil that is constantly wet won’t have enough air pockets and plants will not be able to take up oxygen with their roots. When this occurs, your plants will wilt even though the soil is wet.
Leaves turn brown and wilt when plants have too much water. The leaves will feel soft and limp in your hand.
When roots of plants absorb more water than they can use, water pressure builds in the cells which eventually burst. This can form blisters. Once the blisters erupt, tan, brown or white warty growths form.
Stunted slow growth with yellowing leaves is a symptom of overwatering.
Leaf fall occurs in both situations of too much water and too little water. When both young and old leaves are falling prematurely combined with buds not opening, this is a sure sign of too much water.
Without a Smart Irrigation system set up, it’s easy to under water your plants – particularly during warm weather periods. Plants can sustain short periods of under-watering, but once too much damage is done, they simply die. The replacement cost can be significant, particularly if plants are mature. These are the signs of under-watering:
Too little water for a plant makes it conserve what little water it has by keeping the stalk green and the roots moist, but the leaves will turn yellow and wilt, eventually drying up.
Plants affected by not enough water can show yellowing leaves or dried leaves towards the bottom of the plant. If you see this happening, you are probably under-watering the plant.
Plants may drop leaves completely. If it’s a flowering variety, it may fail to flower. This is a sign of serious under-watering.
Plants affected by not enough water can show some root at the surface. The ground around the plants can crack from dryness.
Irrigation myths busted
There are plenty of common myths about smart gardens and Smart Irrigation.
Here we cover some of the most common misconceptions.
No. When watering with a garden hose, you can’t regulate water use. You’ll use more water at times and probably under-water at other times. This can stress plants and waste water. A Smart Irrigation system with a smart controller will eliminate waste while creating a healthier garden.
Think of it as an insurance policy for your landscape investment. You wouldn’t build a house and then not insure it. The investment up front will more than pay for itself through water savings and reduced plant loss.
Getting it right isn’t a walk in the park but with proper design and professional installation once the system is up and running you’ll continue to enjoy long-term benefits including a healthier garden and reduced water bills without the need to adjust the controller.
Keeping the landscape luscious and healthy does not have to be hard work. Once a Smart Irrigation system is set up correctly, it practically runs itself. It’s actually less work than the old manual way thanks to the latest developments in technology.