by Tampa Bay Water
The Tampa Bay Water Board of Directors joined the State of Florida and local governments in declaring April as Water Conservation Month. This annual proclamation underscores the need to conserve water during Florida’s typical spring dry season by highlighting a variety of programs, promotions and public awareness campaigns aimed at improving water use efficiency.
In April, May and June, Florida’s temperatures begin to increase while the state’s rainfall tends to decrease. As temperatures rise, so does outdoor water use. Residents and businesses can take a number of steps to save water outdoors during our traditional dry times:
- If it rains at least ½ inch on or just before your watering day, skip your day.
- Conduct a visual inspection of your irrigation system by turning the system on to each zone for less than 5 minutes and visually looking for broken or misdirected heads. Correct these problems and water your landscape only.
- If you are planning new plants this spring, use Florida-friendly landscaping to put the right plant in the right place and save water.
- Hold off on installing new sod, trees or plants until the summer rainy season.
- Make sure your landscape beds have at least 3 inches of organic mulch around each plant but not touching the plant trunk. Mulch cools the plant roots and helps retain moisture.
- Use a hose nozzle when hand watering or washing your car. It saves water by keeping the water from running constantly.
- Mow your grass on the highest setting possible (3 to 4 inches) and never mow more than one-third of the grass height. This helps to increase plant root depth and make it more tolerant to dry conditions.
And as always, know your watering day(s) and times. Watering restrictions differ by city and county.
For questions, please contact our office. The Hillsborough County Extension Service is located at 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, Florida 33584. Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.