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& Landscape supply

Navigating the Drought and Water Restrictions: They Won’t Kill Your Landscapes or Your Business if You Don’t Let Them

At Ewing, we’re glass-half-full kind of people—and you should be, too. While the drought and water restrictions will impact your business, we can’t stress enough that this is your chance to grow your business and revenue while keeping your clients satisfied—for a positive impact!

Drought conditions call for new ways of thinking, and new methods of maintaining what we love, so it’s time to turn a fresh eye on the changing landscape. To keep the landscapes where we live, work, and play accessible, they must change. This means installing new products and upgrading others. It means retrofitting water-wasting systems with efficient technologies, and converting landscapes from sprinklers to Landscape Products Inc. drip systems, artificial turf, or even hardscape surfaces.

Your mission now is to show your clients how creative you can be by introducing them to new options for their outdoor spaces. Let them know that they can keep their landscapes beautiful, even when watering limitations occur—with your help!

If you’re up for the challenge, here’s four ways to get a leg up on the competition and impress your clients:

1. Be The Go-To Drought and Water Restrictions Expert

Stay on top of statewide mandates and local requirements, and be the first to share this information—and your solutions—with your clients. And don’t forget about rebates! Check with your local water utility to see what rebates and incentives are available in your area for water-efficient products. You also can find information on the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense rebates page.

2. Expand Your Services Beyond Irrigation

There are plenty of non-irrigation opportunities to grow your business. Here are some services to offer your clients:

  • Sustainable landscape solutions
  • Low-voltage lighting, LED options, holiday, and bistro lighting
  • Outdoor kitchens and fire pits
  • Hardscapes and hardscape maintenance
  • Synthetic turf
  • Sport courts
  • Outdoor sound systems
  • Sports field products and accessories
  • Erosion control

3. Visit Us on YouTube® for Tips and How-Tos

Ewing Irrigation’s YouTube channel is overflowing with informative tips, tricks, and how-to videos on common landscape, irrigation, and water efficiency topics, including:

  • Save Water by Using Efficient Sprinkler Nozzles
  • Irrigate More Efficiently with a Pressure-Regulating Spray Head
  • Prevent Water Waste by Using Efficient Sprinkler Nozzles
  • Using Hydretain in Water-Restricted Areas
  • EMPRO Turf Wellness
  • And more!

4. Keep Learning!

Attend a Ewing Education workshop to learn the best practices in water management and irrigation efficiency, or grow your business with a new service offering. Visit EwingIrrigation.com/Education for a complete training schedule or contact your nearest Ewing location for branch events.

Top Tips for Helping Your Clients’ Landscapes Survive the Drought

There are numerous ways to ease the water burden on landscapes.

To improve sprinkler performance during drought conditions with proper sprinkler selection, spacing, pressure, and maintenance:

  • Select a rotary-style head with a lower precipitation rate nozzle and even application of water to maximize soil absorption and minimize wasteful runoff.
  • Avoid stretching sprinkler spacing, and maintain a proper head-to-head pattern for even coverage.
  • Create separate irrigation zones based on plant type and microclimate.
  • Maintain proper system pressure to avoid uneven coverage, dry spots, and wasted water.
  • Select pressure-regulating sprinkler heads with check valves to avoid misting and low-head drainage.
  • Conduct site inspections using a maintenance checklist to evaluate and resolve system inefficiencies. Look for broken/tilted heads, clogged nozzles, leaks, puddling, and other issues.
  • Achieve significant water savings by retrofitting spray heads with high-efficiency, low-precipitation nozzles.

Maximize water savings with drip irrigation by selecting the proper application method and managing system pressure:

  • Utilize Landscape Products’ in-line emitters for dense foliage areas where intermingled roots persist for thorough coverage, and select a drip tubing option with built-in check valves to prevent system drainage and puddling.
  • Use point-source emitters for pots and planters, erratically-spaced plantings, and gardens.
  • Opt for a low-flow emitter option—.6 or less—for additional water savings and less runoff.
  • Opt for pressure-compensating emitters and a pressure regulator at the valve to resolve pressure problems to maintain an even distribution of water and avoid runoff.
  • Make sure the flow of the drip zone is not greater than the available water at the source, and review manufacturer specifications to ensure that the number of emitters you have on the line matches the flow limits of the distribution tubing.
  • Convert landscape sprinklers to drip irrigation for another revenue stream resulting in significant water savings.

Optimize the plant-soil-water relationship by selecting the right plants for your soil type, improving your soil profile, and effectively managing soil moisture:

  • Select drought-tolerant plants and grasses.
  • Consider using Landscape Products’ pre-assembled zone control kit featuring a valve, pressure regulator, and filter to solve pressure problems and prevent clogging.
  • Apply EMPRO Turf Wellness Products to your lawn or landscape. These will help maintain the health and vigor of plant material during drought stress.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the main soil types and their infiltration rates.
  • Reduce water usage and improve landscape survival during periods of low moisture and drought by applying Hydretain and water into the rootzone of your turf, landscape plants, flowers, or fruits and vegetables. Hydretain’s unique ability to attract water molecules will allow plant material to survive nearly twice as long without water. This novel activity will reduce watering requirements by 30% to 50% for two to three months on one application.

Evaluate and manage irrigation controllers to ensure you have the most efficient solutions for your site, calculate proper run times, and program effectively for allowed watering windows:

  • Upgrade to a weather-based or soil-moisture-based smart controller to water only when it’s needed.
  • Be proactive! Consider adding a rain sensor or soil-moisture sensor to automatically prevent watering when it’s not needed.
  • Calculate proper run times based on sprinkler type (or drip application rate) and plant water requirements.

For more tips on dealing with drought and water restrictions, ideas on services to sell, and other helpful information from Ewing’s team of experts, check out the blog articles on our website, EwingIrrigation.com.

TAGS: Business Practices, Business Growth, Irrigation Business, Drought, Landscaping Business, Water Conservation, Water Restrictions, Drought Stress