A lot of things have changed since last spring, but at least one thing is the same: April 1 is still the date on which time-of-day watering rules go into effect for Water Authority customers in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. That means sprinkler and spray irrigation is not allowed between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from now until Oct. 31 in order to minimize losses to wind and evaporation.
Using spray irrigation during the hottest, windiest part of the day is not efficient. Instead, water in the early morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. Another good way to avoid water waste is by troubleshooting your irrigation system on a regular basis to identify leaks and make sure water is directed properly to the plants. Follow these tips for a desert friendly yard:
- For turf, follow the Water by the Numbers program and adjust your watering schedule as the season changes: Two days per week in April and May, three days per week in the summer, and ramp down again in the fall.
- Irrigate only when your plants need it, and water them deeply rather than too frequently. Use a long screwdriver or soil probe to check soil moisture.
- Add compost to your soil to increase moisture retention and boost soil fertility.
- Mulch around plants to help retain moisture and reduce weeds.
Grow strong and healthy trees by watering infrequently, to a depth of at least 24,” in a wide area around the tree’s canopy. Many of our trees only need deep watering 1 -2 times per month (depending on the species and conditions).