1. Quality Soil
It might seem odd, but looking at your soil is one of the best places you can start for smart irrigation. That’s because the more moisture the soil can hold, the less frequently watering is needed.
AquaSmart Pro is a product that can actually increase the moisture-holding capacity of soil. Just a small amount of this super-absorbent polymer-coated sand is worked into soil—about four tablespoons per gallon of soil, or 40 pounds per 1,000 feet. AquaSmart particles absorb water, then release it back out to the soil and plant roots over time. AquaSmart keeps new sod and plantings from drying out, and can treat dry spots in turf. It’s especially useful for areas with watering restrictions and drought.
2. Water-Efficient Sprinklers and Nozzles
These types of sprinklers and nozzles are primarily designed to produce larger drops of water or streams that are more resistant to wind and that soak into the soil, preventing overwatering. They can typically reduce water use by 30 percent, compared to traditional spray nozzles. Look for low-precipitation rates (1 inch or less per minute). Popular models include Hunter's MP Rotators, Rain Bird's HE-VAN or R-VAN and Toro's Precision Rotating nozzles.
3. Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation is a great choice for shrubs, trees and others plants. 90-100 percent of the water applied by drip systems goes where it’s needed: the roots! With the right design and quality products, drip irrigation can be a low maintenance and water saving option. Look for Landscape Products drip tubing and other drip irrigation parts, which are made from the highest quality plastics for improved durability.
4. Rain and Soil Moisture Sensors
Avoid watering during a rainstorm, or when the ground is already soaked! A rain sensor will detect rainfall, while a soil moisture sensor will detect moisture levels in the soil. Some rain sensors will also shut off your irrigation system as temps approach the freezing point.
So, is a rain sensor or soil moisture sensor better? It all depends on the specific site needs, but additional water savings can be achieved by combining both a soil moisture sensor with a rain sensor in the landscape.
Ask about rain and soil-moisture sensor options from Hunter, Rain Bird and Baseline and Toro.
5. Smart Controller
A smart controller is the brain for your smart irrigation system—it uses weather or soil-moisture data to give your plants the right amount of water.
Using data from sensors in the landscape, or historical and current weather data for your area, a smart controller will adjust watering schedules to the weather and season.
Ask a Ewing service professional about smart controller options. Be sure to look for WaterSense labeled smart controllers. These controllers are proven water-savers!
Save on Smart Irrigation
From July 29-31, select smart irrigation products will be on sale at Ewing. Log in with your account at www.ewingirrigation.com or head to your nearest Ewing location.
Be sure to check with your water provider for smart irrigation rebates. Many offer rebates on smart controllers, water-efficient sprinkler nozzles and more!