Top watering tips before you leave town

Vacations are for relaxing — not stressing about your yard         

August 14, 2015 | By: Dana Strongin

Taking some time away before summer’s end? Don’t let watering-related worries take over your trip. Follow our tips based on these four watering facts to earn peace of mind before you leave town.

House with sprinkler watering the lawn
Installing a WaterSense-labeled smart irrigation controller makes it easier to use the cycle-and-soak method — plus, you get a $100 rebate.

Fact: Before you leave, your landscape deserves a little love.

  • Mow before you go. Cut grass a little higher than usual to lend some water-saving, evaporation-reducing shade to your soil.
  • Remember to save yourself a step and leave grass clippings in place to retain moisture. You can give gardens the same advantage by applying mulch.
  • Give your lawn one last watering using the cycle-and-soak method.

Fact: Summertime power outages can reset sprinklers, wasting water and your money.

  • Set up your irrigation system for success — even when power fails — by showing your house sitter how to shut sprinklers off if they’ve gone haywire.
  • You also can combat the wreckage power failures pose by replacing your system’s backup battery each year.

Fact: Rain is a bigger blessing when your sprinklers can sense it.

  • Get a $100 rebate for installing a WaterSense-labeled smart irrigation controller. Make sure to include a rain sensor to prevent your system from running in the rain — a water-wasting violation of our summer watering rules, which are in effect until Oct. 1.
  • Check your system’s setup to make sure you’re making the most of its features.
  • Take advantage of technology, but don’t discount the value of having a human keep an eye on your system as well.

Fact: Your house sitter will give plants better TLC if you make the job easy.

  • Round up your potted plants and place them in groups based on the amount of water they need. Do this for houseplants, too.
  • Ask your sitter to check whether water pools in saucers — a sign of overwatering. Your sitter can pour all of the leftovers into one container, then set it aside for the next watering.
  • Protect outdoor plants from hose-dragging damage by installing guards to shield plantings near vulnerable areas such as corners.

There’s no reason to fret about watering when you’re out of town. Put in a little effort before you leave, and you can return home to a healthy yard without wasting water — now, that’s giving yourself a break!

1 thought on “Top watering tips before you leave town”

  1. Grouping up your potted plants is a great idea. We usually have my sister house sit for us when we go out of town. She’s usually pretty good about watering the flower beds and vegetable garden. Most of the work is somewhat automated with our irrigation system, but I still think I can make it easier on her. I’ll group up the pots like you suggest. Thanks!

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