16 Apr Time to fertilize and clean your irrigation filter and Tax Day is a great way to remember
Tax day is here, but there are more chores you need to do beyond just filing your federal and state returns. Tax day is a great time to clean your irrigation filter and reprogram your irrigation controller for the summer season. Your landscape and lawn require springtime maintenance in order to prepare them for the hot Tucson summer days that will be arriving soon. Because the Sonoran Desert gets very little moisture until monsoon season, your lawn and other plants may stress without proper landscape care. Follow the tips below before the temperatures rise too high:
Clean Your Irrigation Filter
If you wish to have green, lush shrubs all year long, you should have an irrigation system to help keep the shrubs hydrated even when the scorching sun beats down on them. Make sure you remove and clean the filter so that your system stays clog-free. Your filter is located in your irrigation valve box. It is Y shaped, next to the valve. Be sure to shut off the water before beginning. Just unscrew the cap and remove the screen filter, clean any tough deposits by scrubbing the filter with an old toothbrush, then replace the filter and hand tighten the cap. There is no need for Teflon tape as there is an O ring on the cap.
Here are some helpful tips for watering your plants during the seasons
Suggested Watering Schedule for Plants
Your landscape has been installed with a drip irrigation system. It is called a drip system because each plant is watered by an emitter that drips water directly to the plant’s root zone at a rate of one or two gallons per hour. This slow rate of watering provides the plants with a much deeper watering. With this slow deep watering you should not have to water as often, providing the system is set to water for a long period of time when it does water.
Below is a suggested watering schedule that you can use as a guide. However, you should only use it as a guide, because your watering schedule will vary depending on the weather, soil, maturity of plants, type of plants and season. Watch your plants carefully anytime you change your watering schedule.
Newly Installed Plants (First 3 Months)
Every other day for 2 to 2.5 hours
First Year – Summer (beginning April 15)
Every other day for 2.5 hours
First Year – Winter (beginning October 15)
Every other day for 1.5 hours
Second Year – Winter
Every third day for 2.5 hours
Second Year – Summer **
Every Third day for 3 – 4 hours
Established Plants – Winter **
Once per week for 3 – 6 hours
Established Plants – Summer **
Once per week for 3 – 6 hours
**Take caution when using these settings, in some soil conditions, plants may stress between waterings or some soil will not accept 4 hours of water at one time, multiple start times may be needed.
Established lawns should be watered 2-3 times per week for approximately 20 minutes. The best way to pinpoint exactly how long to water is to:
Tip #1 – Use several shallow containers such as tuna cans (any container with straight sides will work) and space throughout the yard. Water until the containers fill to 1 inch. However long this takes is how long you should water. Lawns need approximately 2” of water per week in the summer.
Tip #2 – If you have a dry area or a blue-gray area (a sign of water stress,) place like-size containers in the area and one in a green area. Water 30 minutes, then measure both containers. If the dry area is not getting the same amount of water, adjust the sprinkler heads.
The lawn care professionals at Santa Rita Landscaping can help you get your lawn and other landscaped features on your property ready for summer. Call us today at (520) 623-0421 for more information.