Ways to water

Brian Horn, editor,
Lawn & Landscape

When it comes to irrigation, your approach may be different depending on where you are in the country. Here in Ohio, we don’t have nearly the amount of drought issues that those out west have. But that doesn’t mean contractors should be ignoring sustainable irrigation practices. Like the saying goes, “waste not, want not.”

We have plenty of great information about different irrigation practices like xeriscaping and using greywater in our issue this month starting on page 22.

Associate Editor Jimmy Miller also is working on a 3-part podcast series called “Choppy Waters” that focuses on irrigation. You can listen to the first two on our podcast page here: bit.ly/LLRNpodcasts. To give you a taste of both, here are a few takeaways from our print and podcast coverage:

• Irrigation contractors can do a better job of educating their customers on the definition of smart irrigation. People are becoming water-conscious but don’t know the proper means to conserve water.

• If you are practicing smart irrigation, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with other contractors as well. The more knowledgeable your market is, including your competition, the more viable the service becomes.

• A problem with installing a smart irrigation system can be taking a short cut in the planning process, like not knowing the pressure or gallons per minute, or having the water go uphill. Make sure you are taking the time in the beginning to plan and design the right way.

• If you water during the day and it’s too hot, a good chunk will evaporate before it can soak in the ground. If you water too long, it’s too much water for the turf to absorb so you will lose more water than you are going to put on the turf.

• Xeriscaping isn’t just something for the West Coast. Other parts of the country can use these plants mixed with a little turf.

Most importantly, be open to new ways to water. I know climate change and sustainability can become political, but try and listen to those who have studied this and be open-minded, even if it means moving away from how you’ve always done things. — Brian Horn

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