Just because you have an irrigation system doesn’t mean you have to use it. Hand watering with a hose uses fewer gallons per minute and targets only what truly needs water.
Hand-watering is guaranteed to use a lot less water than your irrigation system. And it puts you more in touch with your plants and their needs.
Here’s why. The hose uses fewer gallons per minute (approximately 9 gallons per minute) than your irrigation system (13 gallons or more per minute,) plus hand-watering targets only what actually needs watering.
If you’re outside one evening enjoying your yard after the sun’s gone down, turn off the irrigation system and hand-water instead. While you’re out there, you may even discover you don’t need to water at all.
It’s not necessary to water every week just because you can. It all depends on plant species and what the wacky weather brings. Some weeks may be unseasonably cool and rainy, so 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). Then, the next time you water give hand-watering a whirl.
In fact, try it for one month. Then, check the next couple of water bills to compare the savings — you will see a difference. Not just in gallons used or dollars and cents, but also in the health of your landscape.