Skip every other week of irrigation when the grass goes dormant, saving water and money

The St. Johns River Water Management District is asking homeowners across its 18-county region to help save a billion gallons of water this winter by joining in the annual statewide “Skip a Week” campaign. During the cooler months of December, January and February, lawns and landscapes typically need less water.

“Skipping every other week of outdoor watering this winter is a simple way to invest in our future while promoting healthier lawns and landscapes,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “If you usually irrigate but will voluntarily skip every other week of watering this winter, together we could save more than a billion gallons of water. That’s enough water to fill 1,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

While current irrigation restrictions do allow watering up to once a week during Eastern Standard Time, weekly irrigation isn’t always needed this time of year. Watering too often makes lawns less able to survive Florida’s inevitable droughts and encourages pests, disease, and root rot. Watering less encourages deeper grass and plant roots, which makes them more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to pests and disease.

Skipping every other week is as easy as manually turning off your irrigation system. Be sure that if you do irrigate, you water on your assigned day for outdoor irrigation, and always before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Your day is based on your street address: during Eastern Standard Time, odd addresses water on Saturday, and even addresses water on Sunday.

The Skip a Week message is an important part of the district’s yearlong Water Less outdoor water conservation campaign, which promotes smart homeowner irrigation practices at seasonally appropriate times of the year:

  • Fall back to no more than once-a-week irrigation during Eastern Standard Time;
  • Skip A Week when lawns go dormant and need less water in winter;
  • In springtime, take control of your irrigation system timer — Did you set it and forget it?
  • “Watch the weather, wait to water” in the summertime because Mother Nature may do the lawn watering for you with typical summer rainfall.

To learn more about the district’s “Skip a Week” message and the Water Less campaign, visit www.WaterLessFlorida.com.

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