Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

Q: Please tell me the proper times to water and how much to water. Are we really supposed to water shrubs differently than grass? I am so frustrated at all the different pieces of information, I just want someone to make it simple for me.

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Sprinklers

Sprinklers

A:  Thank you so much for your timely question.  We will start with the law from the St. Johns River Water Management if we do NOT receive sufficient rain:

  • Daylight saving time (DST): Second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November (summer)
  • Eastern Standard Time (EST): First Sunday in November until the second Sunday in March (winter)
  • An odd numbered addresses end in 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9. DST – Wednesday/Saturdays; EST Saturdays
  • An even numbered addresses end in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8. DST – Thursday/Sundays; EST Sundays
  • Water only when needed and not between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. *We recommend watering from 4am – 10am so any extra water has time to dry off the blades to reduce disease.  We do not suggest watering in the evenings.
  • Water for no more than one hour per zone. *We recommend you measure your output with the ideal amount at each watering measuring between ½ inch and ¾ inch.  Our grasses grow very well in sandy, well-drained soil and like to be watered deeply but less often to produce strong root structures.
  • Restrictions apply to private wells and pumps, ground or surface water and water from public and private utilities. People often believe since they have their own well that is doesn’t matter how much they use but the same restrictions apply to private wells.  *We recommend allowing the grass to tell you when to water.  Once the blade begins to slightly fold, or has a blue-green color then water the grass.
  • *We recommend separating the irrigation zones so the flower beds and hedges are watered differently.  Most mature hedges and woody ornamentals do not require irrigation once established and watering twice a week would be excessive and unnecessary. In addition, so many disease issues for lawn grasses and shrubs are caused by over watering.
  • *University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recommendations.
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