Skip A Week Club

  • Dec 27, 2011

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has created the “Skip A Week” program. This program or “Club” as Manatee County calls it, encourages all property owners join the program and agree to water their lawn only every other week during the cool months of December, January and February.

 

Research shows that grass doesn’t need to be watered as often during the cooler months. This means that watering on your watering day isn’t always needed. In fact, one-half to three-quarter inches of water every 10-14 days is sufficient. This is based on the fact that Florida gets about 53 inches, on average, per year which is sufficient. Unfortunately, most of this rainfall though falls between the months of June and September and is not available for plant use because of evaporation and runoff. As a matter of fact, Florida’s high annual rainfall amount and frequent large rainstorms make regular programmed irrigation an inefficient way to irrigate. Manually activating your irrigation system, on the other hand, makes sense if you want to ensure your Florida yard doesn’t get too much or too little water.
 
In Florida, watering every week is sometimes too much. You may be surprised to learn that overwatering your lawn can make it less drought-tolerant and more susceptible to pests and disease.
 
How do you determine when to turn on your system to be sure your yard stays healthy? The simplest way to determine if your yard needs water is to look for these visual clues:
 
·         Grass blades are folded in half on at least one-third of the site;
·         Grass blades are blue-gray
·         Grass blades do not spring back, footprints remain visible on lawn for several minutes after walking on it
 
If you see signs your lawn is wilting and decide to irrigate, the University of Florida recommends an average of ½ to ¾ inches of water per application. Saturating the root zone and then letting the soil dry encourages healthy, deep root growth.
 
Skipping a week of irrigation when your yard doesn’t need it will also help to conserve potable water supplies. Following this Skip-A-Week plan saves water that the public needs for other critical uses during the dry season and can help keep your grass roots healthy. Just turn your irrigation timer to “off” for the week you do not want to water and to “on” for the week you do. If everyone skipped one week of irrigation this season, it could save an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of water.
 
Have questions? Email, fax or call the Water Conservation office at: 
                Water.Saver@MyManatee.org
                Fax:          941-795-3457
                Phone:  792-8811, extension 5327