Take the Hand-Watering Challenge

Heather Ginsburg

Just because you have an irrigation system doesn’t mean you have to use it. The hose uses fewer gallons per minute than your in-ground sprinklers, plus hand watering targets only what actually needs water.

Did you know hand-watering is almost guaranteed to use significantly less water than your irrigation system? It’s true.

If you’re outside one evening enjoying your yard after the sun’s gone down, turn off the irrigation system and hand-water instead. The hose uses fewer gallons per minute than your irrigation system, plus hand-watering targets only what actually needs watering.

While you’re outside you may even discover you don’t need to water at all! It’s not necessary to water every week just because it’s summer. With our crazy weather here in south Texas, some weeks are unseasonably cool and rainy and skipping those weeks could save you thousands of gallons of water on your next bill.

I challenge you to go outside and run a zone or two for one minute each. Pay close attention to all the water lost to the wind, spots that are missed and any sprinkler heads wasting water irrigating just dirt (or the sidewalk or street). Now, the next time you water, give hand-watering a whirl. In fact, try this for one month.

Check the next couple of water bills to compare the savings. And there will be a difference — not just in how much less your bill and gallons used is, but also in the health of your landscape. Hand watering puts you more in touch with your plants and their needs.

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