July is Smart Irrigation Month: Efficient Watering Practices for South Central Pennsylvanians - Tomlinson Bomberger

July is Smart Irrigation Month: Efficient Watering Practices for South Central Pennsylvanians

Category: Lawn Care

July is Smart Irrigation Month: Efficient Watering Practices for South Central Pennsylvanians

FAQ: What is Smart Irrigation Month?

Answer: July is considered Smart Irrigation Month to remind homeowners to use efficient watering practices on their lawns and landscapes.

Why July instead of June or September?

July is the hottest and driest month of the year, and everyone needs to be reminded not to overuse water.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the following water conservation tips:

  • Why you need sustainable watering strategies
  • How to employ efficient watering practices
  • 8 essential water conservation tips.

The Urgent Need for Sustainable Watering Strategies

According to an article in WaterUseItWisely.com, homeowners use up to 70% of their water usage on their lawns and landscape, resulting in wasted water and plant diseases.

Water is one of our limited natural resources, and homeowners must employ sustainable watering practices so there’s plenty of water for everyone.

You’ll need to regularly water your lawn and landscape this summer because July can be unbearably hot and dry. You’ve invested in a weed-free lawn, beautiful flowerbeds, and trees. You must practice landscape water management to prevent water scarcity and plant disease.

Read more: Benefits of Installing an Irrigation System

However, you don’t need as much water as you think to keep your property looking its best this summer.

How to Employ Efficient Watering Practices

You want to design your landscape space with low-maintenance and native plants to conserve water.

Also, you can install plants based on their sunlight and watering needs. For example, sun-loving plants would be grouped in a sunny spot in your landscape. Designate a part-sun or a shady area for shade-loving species where it’s damper and cooler.

Remember, you must plant in the right space to survive on your property. Your plants will perform better when their light and watering needs are met.

Native plants, which have adjusted to the South Central PA climate, will use less fertilizer, water, and pest control than their non-native counterparts. You also save money and get a better return on your investment when you use native plants.

8 Essential Water Conservation Tips

The Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA) says that 1” of water for PA lawns and landscapes is sufficient to provide enough moisture to last the week.

Here are eight essential water conservation tips:

  1. While the amount of rain per week counts toward the 1” rule, you can’t rely on Mother Nature to provide the moisture to fill the rain bucket.

While counterintuitive, heavy downpours don’t always go deep into the topsoil. Indeed, when it rains hard, it runs off your flowerbeds and into the lawn. Instead, check how dry the soil is with a screwdriver. If you can drive a screwdriver directly into the ground, there’s plenty of water. However, if you can’t stab the soil, you must irrigate your landscapes immediately.

  1. Don’t use a garden hose to water your lawn, shrubs, and trees.

While you can water your annuals with a hose, don’t think you can stand there for 15 minutes to irrigate your shrubs and trees deeply enough. Instead, install drip irrigation or tree bubblers that send water directly to the roots.

  1. Try to water your lawn and landscape in the early morning hours.

While it’s true that you can water your lawn and landscape anytime during the day, it doesn’t mean it’s the smartest thing to do. Ideally, you want to water your lawn and landscape early, between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Granted, you can water in the early evening, but you don’t want to water when it will lay on the grass blades or plant leaves. July’s hot and humid nights mixed with wet leaves or grass blades lead to fungal diseases.

  1. Consider smart irrigation systems for all of your watering needs.

Smart irrigation systems also deliver 1” of water to lawns early in the morning. Bluetooth lets you control smart irrigation systems by turning on your sprinklers from an app.

Add rain sensors so that the sprinkler system stops when it starts to rain. You’ll find that you’re saving money on your water bills. Additionally, your property will look healthy and vibrant.

You can set the timer and days for the smart water sprinklers to turn on and off anywhere you’re located—at the office, gym, or on vacation.

  1. Aim for plant roots, not the leaves.

You avoid plant diseases and make your irrigation time more efficient when the water is directed to the plants’ roots. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses provide water directly at the root level.

Drip irrigation works perfectly for flower beds and vegetable gardens by emitting large water droplets at the root line instead of the plant’s leaves.

  1. Be mindful of how much water you use to supplement your lawn and landscape.

Use a timer on your soaker hoses to ensure you don’t overwater your landscaped areas.

Also, if you have smart irrigation systems for your lawn, use the cycle-and-soak method, where the water sprinklers turn on for 30 minutes and then shut off, allowing the water to percolate into the ground.

  1. Count on watering your landscape 3-4 times weekly; your lawn only needs watering once or twice weekly.

Your lawn and landscape only need 1” of water per week. You can measure how much you’re watering if you have smart irrigation systems—even one where you hook it up to a garden hose. Set out tuna cans in different areas of your yard. Turn on your sprinkler for 30 minutes, and then shut it off.

Check the cans to see how much water is emitted in a half-hour. If you get an inch in 30 minutes, turn off your sprinklers. If not, continue the test for another 30 minutes until you reach the 1” mark.

Learn more: Questions to Ask Your Irrigation Contractor

  1. New shrubs and trees need more than one inch of water weekly.

New plants need more water in the first few weeks of installation. If you don’t have tree bubblers for your new shrubs and trees, take a five-gallon bucket, drill small holes in the bottom, and use your garden hose to fill the bucket. You can set a timer for 30 minutes and let the garden hose run in the bucket. You’ll need to do this every day for the first two weeks, then back off every two days for the third and fourth weeks. This extended watering method encourages the woody ornamental roots to go deep into the soil. Also, plan to water your new shrubs and trees more often during heat waves.


July is Smart Irrigation Month, and it’s a perfect time to ensure you’re not wasting water. The above water conservation tips will help you get a handle on your outdoor water usage.

Remember that your lawn and landscape only need 1” of water per week unless you recently installed landscape plants, such as shrubs and trees. Then, you should install smart irrigation systems, including tree bubblers or drip irrigation, to ensure the new specimens get enough water to encourage deep root growth.

Upgrade Your Lawn & Landscape: Contact Tomlinson Bomberger for Your New Smart Irrigation Systems

Practice sustainable watering with a smart irrigation system from Tomlinson Bomberger. We install Hunter and Pro-Spray smart irrigation systems. Upgrade your lawn and landscape by calling us today at 717.399.1991 or filling out our contact form.


EPA.gov, Watering Tips.

PLNA.com, Wise Water Usage.

WaterUseItWisely.com, Saving Water Outdoors.