Ten Ways to Save Water, Plants and Big Bucks

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One of the great things about living in a master-planned community like Devonshire is the relatively mild weather year-round. Sure, late July and August might get a little toasty, but most days are sunny and beautiful, especially in the spring and summer. The common areas that surround the community amenities are also landscaped with turf, shrubs, flowers, and other plants that are chosen for their adaptability to the north Texas weather. This is why Devonshire has a glorious look and feel.

Residents select their plants and turf for yards and, judging by the beautiful neighborhoods, proper watering and yard management is a high priority for each homeowner. Everyone, it seems, is becoming more aware of the proper amount of water necessary to maintain a luxurious yard, while not wasting any of this precious resource. Landscape specialists have come a long way in understanding how homeowners can find ways to save water and the associated expense, while the lawns, shrubs, flowers, and other plants are flourishing.

10 Tips to Improve Water Distribution and Lawn Health

According to the well-known landscaping website - Love Your Landscape - there are at least 10 ways to keep your yard vibrant while not wasting precious water due to overwatering, mowing incorrectly, or irrigation glitches. See if any of these tips might work for your yard.

Install an automatic-rain-shutoff device. This inexpensive device can be installed on an irrigation system controller that “tells” it to shut off when a specified amount of rain has fallen. It protects your lawn (and your water bill!) from accidental overwatering. This sweet little gadget typically costs under $200 to install and, in north Texas, it can save enough water to pay for itself within the first season.

Update your irrigation system with a smart controller. A slightly larger investment ($300 to several thousand dollars) will buy you a weather-based irrigation controller capable of improving your watering efficiency by up to 40 percent. That’s a LOT of water being saved!.

Upgrade to water-efficient emitters. Emitter technology has improved dramatically over the past couple of years. If sprinkler heads, rotors, or drip irrigation emitters are more than a couple of years old, ask your local irrigation expert to inspect your system and recommend more efficient alternatives if appropriate.

Eliminate leaks. This is an important tip. According to the EPA, a single 1/32- inch diameter leak on a hose, emitter or outdoor faucet can waste more than 6,000 gallons of water in a year. Outdoor leaks are especially prone to waste because they often aren’t noticed. Leak inspection should be on a monthly (or even better, weekly) inspection list.

Install a rain barrel. As it turns out, those “back-to-the-land” eco-warriors were correct. This captured water is good for plants because it’s free of many of the salts and chemicals that are present in most groundwater or city-water sources. A landscape irrigation expert can assist in a decision as to how best to integrate north Texas rainwater with your existing irrigation system.

Choose drought-tolerant plants. This is another tip that can save water and frustration. Many plants, such as white fir, yarrow, yucca, and sage are naturally adapted to thrive in low water conditions. A local landscape professional can offer advice as to which species will do well in the Forney area and on your specific property in the Devonshire community.

Add A thick layer of mulch to flower beds and gardens. It will help keep the root zone cool and moisture in the soil. Lover Your Landscape experts note that organic mulches, such as wood chips and shredded bark will also contribute organic matter to the soil over time. 

Water the soil, not the leaves. Water at the root zone to keep evaporation to a minimum. Keeping water off your plants’ leaves will also help control fungal diseases and prevent sunscald. A professionally designed irrigation system – drip or otherwise – is far better at proper water delivery than the simple lawn sprinklers you can buy in the hardware store. The result? Reduced water bills and healthier plants.

Mow high. Keeping your grass at about 2 inches for most species will help shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation.

Don’t overwater. The experts at Love Your Landscape note that more water is wasted through overwatering than for any other reason. Watering too much doesn’t just waste a precious resource. It is also bad for plants. Too much water in the soil stresses the plants’ root systems and contributes to root rot and fungal and bacterial disease. It’s a good idea to consult a landscape professional for help in designing a watering system and/or schedule to deliver the correct amount of water.

Hot Fun in the Summertime 

Located in the charming city of Forney, just south of Dallas, Devonshire is the perfect place to spend a relaxing spring or summer afternoon, either in your backyard or at the immaculate common areas. The amenities are abundant. The Club at Devonshire provides a great spot for neighborhood socializing. There is a fabulous swimming pool, splash poo,l and covered pavilion with a fireplace and grilling area.

Click here to see why you belong in this little piece of heaven.