Shorter daylight hours and cooler weather mean lawns and gardens throughout the San Diego region need less water. The Vista Irrigation District is requesting that customers practice “Shorter Days, Shorter Watering Times.” Homeowners, gardeners and landscape contractors are encouraged to conserve water by adjusting residential and commercial irrigation systems.
Studies have shown 60 percent or more of residential water is used for landscaping. Most over-watering occurs during the fall season. Over-watering can be as damaging to vegetation as under-watering.
Customers should begin now to gradually cut back watering times by approximately 10 percent every three weeks until winter rains arrive. As they reduce water times, they should continually monitor soil moisture to prevent stress. Stress is recognized as wilting and/or a lack of luster in leaves or blades of grass.
By watering in the early morning or later in the evening, homeowners can save water. During the cooler hours, less evaporation takes place and there is less wind to waste water by scattering the droplets onto sidewalks and driveways.
It is also recommended that the batteries in irrigation controllers be replaced at this time. When clock batteries are depleted, systems revert to default watering cycles, resulting in over watering.