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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - September 04, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering
Title: Recommended irrigation schedule for Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

With the very hot summer and the conservation of water so important, could you let me know what would be a good watering schedule? I am fortunate enough to have a sprinkler system so I can set my pop-up sprinkler heads to water different durations and such. What is a good weekly/daily watering schedule that I could use. Thank you

ANSWER:

To be most effective you should water infrequently, but thoroughly. This encourages deeper roots systems that can better withstand drought conditions.

Following the City of Austin Recommended Irrigation Schedule is a very good plan. For the summer, June through September, they recommend a 5-day watering schedule with designated days for each street number. Watering should be done only before 10:00 AM or after 7:00 PM. To help you determine how long you should water on your designated day, Austin Water Conservation posts an ET (evapo-transpiration) Index on its home page.

"ET, or evapo-transpiration, is the measurement of moisture that your plants and lawn lose through heat, humidity and wind. This amount is what should be replaced when watering your landscape."

You can determine the amount of time to water on your designated day by measuring the output of your sprinklers and using the posted ET.

 

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