Maximizing Irrigation Efficiency for Hot Summer Months

Keep your water-bills low and your landscapes green this drought season by being smart with your irrigation

Watering is vital in the heat of the summer months to keep your landscaping looking fresh and vibrant. But how can you keep your plants healthy without getting swamped with a huge bill? Efficient irrigation practices not only help you conserve water but also promotes healthy growth and prevents water stress. We at Nasim Landscape present a few efficiency tips we have learned to keep your plants thriving and your budget balanced.

Understand your plants’ requirements

Different plants have varying water needs. Before you plant, research the specific water demands for each plant in your garden or landscape. For instance, the Broadleaf Lupine (a common Western Washington plant) is drought tolerant and loves plenty of sun, while the Casmassia prefers shade and moist soil. Consider factors such as plant type, age and stage of growth to determine the amount of water they may need. By coordinating your landscape or garden around these requirements you will know the proper balance and ovoid under or overwatering throughout the year.

Observe which plants go dormant in the summer heat

If you notice some plants hunkering down when others are in full bloom, that’s not a reason to panic. Some plants like tulips, daffodils and iris are spring tubers and will naturally die back in summer. Other flowers like the California poppy and forget-me-nots have long since seeded in the hot months and are ready to hibernate until next year. All you have to do in these cases is make sure these are mulched and water intermittently until the next blooming season.

Adjust irrigation frequency and timing

There is an age-old debate around the frequency of watering schedules, but we at Nasim Landscape recommend deep and infrequent watering rather than lightly every day. This method encourages plants to develop deep and hardy root systems, making them more resilient to drought conditions. The heat of the summer months causes water to evaporate quicker so we also suggest watering early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are cooler.

Mulch is your friend

A great way to conserve water and rescue evaporation is by using mulch in your garden or landscape. Mulch acts as a natural protective barrier around your plants and helps retain moisture in the soil. Spread a two to three inch layer of mulch around the base of your plants, making sure it doesn’t come in direct contact with the stems or trunks. This simple technique will keep the nourishing water in place for a longer period of time, promotes healthier root development and cuts down on weeds as well!

Consider drip irrigation

In many cases it makes sense to install a drip irrigation system. Not only is it convenient and cuts down on maintenance time, but it also is a huge benefit to your plants. Drip irrigation is a highly efficient watering method that delivers moisture directly to the root zone of plants where it counts without wasting water unnecessarily spraying the foliage. It can be installed in hard to reach areas that may be neglected like hanging baskets and planter boxes. If you are considering expanding your irrigation, the Nasim Landscape team is ready to help!

Regularly inspect and maintain your irrigation system

An irrigation system will come back to haunt you if you neglect it too long. Old pipes and connections will become blocked or start to leak, causing inefficient water distribution and a higher water bill. Take time to inspect and maintain your system at least once a year to make sure it will continue to function properly. Check for any damaged or clogged sprinkler heads, emitters or hoses and promptly repair or replace them. As your landscaped plants grow and change shapes, adjust your coverage and water distribution to ensure that every plant receives the adequate water it needs.

Monitor soil moisture levels

Monitoring soil moisture can provide valuable insights about when and how to water your plants. Use a soil moisture meter found at any garden supply store, or simply insert your finger into the soil. Watering is really only necessary when the top few inches of soil are dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot or other plant health issues so it's important to strike a balance between keeping the soil moist and avoiding waterlogged conditions. Remember that sprinklers work well for grass which has shallow roots, but using drip irrigation or soaker hoses is a better idea to water deeper root systems more efficiently.

There is nothing like the summer months to see your garden or landscaping at the height of its beauty, and knowing the watering needs of your different plants makes all the difference in keeping them healthy and thriving despite the heat. Efficient irrigation not only benefits our plants and keeps your costs under control, it also contributes to the overall conservation of this precious resource. 

If you ever need an expert opinion on the right irrigation methods for your property, consider Nasim Landscape for all your irrigation and landscaping services. From installing irrigation systems to selecting the perfect plants, we have a solution for you.