Landscape Watering Reminder - February

Our first major storm of the year is making its way up from Baja California. Rains may put a damper on the BIG events happening in town, but we have to welcome moisture any time it decides to come through our state (see reservoir levels below)! Get your sweater and rain gear, and enjoy.

Hopefully, you've turned your irrigation off and you shouldn't prune plants until at least mid-February. However, it is a great time to pull weeds. Find details in the bonus tips below.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS                                                    

Recommendations are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

Bougainvillea with frost damage

Frost-damaged branches on this Bougainvillea can be pruned off in mid-February. Photo: Donna DiFrancesco.

Lawn watering:
Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 21 days
Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - once every 7 -9 days
 
If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
Desert Adapted - once every 28 days
High Water Use - once every 12 days
 
Tree watering:
Desert Adapted -once every 36 days
High Water Use - once every 14 days
 
Shrub watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
High Water Use - once every 10 days
 
Groundcover and vine watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 21 days
High Water Use - once every 10 days
 
Cacti and succulent watering - every 28 days
 
Annual & vegetable watering - once every 6-9 days

Wildflower watering - once every 9 -12 days
  
Reduce your landscape watering 30 to 50 percent by adjusting your irrigation each season. Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert will help you determine how much water to apply and how long to run your system. Visit the interactive Web version or request a free copy of the booklet at www.wateruseitwisely.com.
 
BONUS TIPS

- FROST FACTS! Many of our landscape plants have been damaged by our late-December below- freezing temperatures including lantana, yellow bells, bougainvillea and more.  Don't despair! Many plants will leaf back out or regrow from the roots. As tempting as it may be, it is best to wait until danger of frost has passed (about Feb. 15) and/or new growth has emerged before pruning off the damaged areas. The frosted plant parts will help protect the remainder of the plant. Learn more in a University of Arizona publication.
 
- AT LEAST ONE-HALF INCH OF RAIN MEANS IT'S TIME TO TURN YOUR IRRIGATION OFF!  Any time you get one-half inch of rain or more, use the 'off', 'stop', or 'rain' setting on your controller or timer to stop the watering cycle without disturbing your programs. Skip an irrigation cycle or two and keep an eye on your landscape to determine when you need to turn the controller back on. Visit rainlog.org to see rainfall totals in your neighborhood.
 
- WEED ALERT! Yes, rains also grow the seeds that bring us spring weeds. Remove weeds when they are small by hand-pulling or hoeing. It's a lot easier to pull out the entire weed, roots and all, when the soil is moist. Weeds will compete with your plants for water and it's best to remove BEFORE they go to seed. NEVER use strong weed killers or soil sterilants (labeled total vegetation killer, driveway & sidewalk killer, etc.) as they persist in our desert soils.
 
- READY TO SAVE WATER AND MONEY? On Sat. March 7th, register now for SRP's 8th Annual Water Conservation Expo. Get a SMART controller (yes, it's so smart it adjusts itself for the season) at an amazing discount of $50 plus tax (retail value $314). But wait, there's more! Attendees will also get a free water-saving showerhead (while supplies last)! The Expo focuses on water management, stewardship and conservation. Classes on "smart" controllers and Xeriscape design will be offered. Learn more at Together We Conserve.
 
- DRY CONDITIONS prevail even with the recent (but light) rains. The SRP total reservoir system is 50% full (compared to 56% in 2014, 66% in 2013 and 89% in 2012). Check out the SRP Daily Water Report. The CAP total reservoir system is holding at 49%, same as last year. Here's the Lower Colorado Report.
 

-VEGETABLE GARDEN DESIGN workshop, Feb. 26 from 6-8 p.m. is part of Mesa Community College's Urban Farming: Healthy Foods and Healthy Living year-long series. Take advantage of this free program. Registration is required.
 

To register for monthly watering reminder emails, visit www.Mesaaz.gov and click on Email Alerts located in the right navigation bar. Choose Landscape Watering Reminder, and follow the registration instructions. You can remove your name from the list at any time.

 

Find more information about Mesa's water conservation programs.

 

 -H20-