How to Cut Costs this Rainy Season

The biggest benefit of the rainy season is that we can all save money on irrigation water, but you have to know how to use rain water to your advantage. One of True North’s product partners, Alter Eco Agronomics recently released an article on their blog titled Rainy Season: When to Water that outlined how to do just that. They point out that, “It’s best not to water prior to an expected rain event and its usually safe to wait 4 to 5 days after a rain event.” So how do you know when to turn on the sprinklers?

Turf should be watered at the first sign of wilting. The best way to see this is through polarized sun glasses; if the turf appears to be getting smoky gray in color, it’s time to water. If you’re talking irrigation, an inexpensive water moisture meter is effective in determining the need

By leveraging the rainwater to work for you, you can see the impact on your landscape and in your budget. However, there are 6 major landscape issues connected to the rainy season that can be avoided by arming yourself with the simple facts.

The Dangers of the Rainy Season

  1. Over-watering encourages the growth of weeds – purple sedge, yellow sedge, clover, moss, algae, crabgrass, and many other annual weeds.
  2. Plant roots easily develop fungal root rot pathogens. As a result, turf, shrubs and trees die from these infections.
  3. Excess water fills all the pore spaces in the soil matrix and drives out air – roots and beneficial microorganisms need that air to survive.
  4. Excess water, especially rain water, compacts soil by dispersing clay particles and plugging soil pore spaces.
  5. Excess irrigation water delivers large amounts of sodium to the soil causing de-flocculation of soil that is especially bad on clay soils and bad for plants.
  6. Over-watering encourages shallow rooting on all species of plants – shallow roots make plants intolerant of high heat conditions, so you can kiss them goodbye come summer.

These pitfalls can be avoided by having good surface and subsurface drainage in the landscape. Surface drainage helps carry away most rainwater during heavy storms. Subsurface drainage is accomplished by eliminating soil hardpan layers and by maintaining good soil surface infiltration and soil percolation. (SoilMaxx and Transformation do these things.)

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