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  • Mother Nature took her good, sweet time this year, but warm weather ultimately – and repeatedly – returned to Maryland earlier this month.

    Statewide, mower engines revved, gardening tools were plucked from peg boards, and automatic irrigation systems were primed to quench lawns and gardens on a weekly or daily basis.

    But these steadily increasing temps, while conjuring daydreams of beach getaways and backyard barbecues, can also lead to a significant waste of water if your household is not irrigating properly.

    In fact, outdoor water usage in suburban areas can top out at approximately 80%. If that H2O is being sucked up into the ether (or washed down your driveway) before it even gets a chance to permeate your soil, you’ve got a tremendous waste of resources on your hands.

    Don’t be that guy. Instead, consider these 5 summer sprinkler tips to help create a savvy water management plan.

    • Choose your watering time wisely: Early morning douses are best during the summer. Aim for that twilight time between 4-6 a.m., and avoid midday soaks when the risk of evaporation is at its highest.
    • Monitor for faulty equipment: Consider this tidbit the next time you’re signing that check to pay the water bill. According to the EPA, a leak no bigger than the tip of a ballpoint pen can waste 6,300 gallons of water per month. Make it a habit to periodically check for clogs and debris in nozzles, inspect hoses and valves for leaks, replace washers when necessary, and repair leaky spigots. Many of these tasks can be DIY endeavors, but keep the number of your irrigation specialist handy.
    • Don’t forget your timer: Make certain everything is copacetic with all automatic irrigation functions. Reevaluate how many times per week and times per day your lawn requires watering, and verify the proper duration.
    • Consider drip irrigation: Drip systems direct a slow and measured supply of water to your plants’ roots, thereby eliminating waste caused by summer scorch and evaporation. Drip systems are particularly ideal for small areas, as well as mulched areas – as the technique soaks the soil without disturbing the mulch.
    • Retrofit your system: Automatic irrigation tech has come a long way. Contact your irrigation contractor to discuss smart controllers that can target zones with just the swipe of a finger, or weather-based systems that automatically adjust your watering schedules based on the current conditions for your geographical area. According to manufacturer Rain Bird, these new tools can help homeowners cut water waste associated with their lawns by up to 70%. Additionally, ask your contractor about systems and equipment that are EPA WaterSense certified.

    These summer sprinkler tips can help to get you started on a wonderful, water-smart season. If you have questions, however, don’t hesitate to call our crew at Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting. One of our specialists can drop by to evaluate your landscape needs, and offer suggestions to create a property that is both water-conscious and captivating at the same time. Call us at 410-987-2969, or fill out the form to request a quote.