BROOKSVILLE - Recent rainfall and cooler temperatures has prompted the Southwest Florida Water Management District to urge residents who irrigate their lawns to skip a week or more of watering during the cooler months of January and February.
Grass doesn't need to be watered as often during the cooler months, according to research by the University of Florida
In fact, one half to three-quarters of an inch of water every 10-14 days should be sufficient and if the lawn has received any significant rainfall, then residents can turn off the irrigation system and operate it manually as needed.
"Overwatering can encourage pests and disease in your lawn," said Robin Grantham, water conservation coordinator with the water management district. "Too much irrigation can also make lawns less able to survive droughts."
Grantham said residents who have an irrigation timer on their systems can turn it to "off" for the week they want to skip and "on" for when they want to water.
Watering every other week during the winter will help conserve drinking water supplies that the public needs for critical uses during the dry season, according to the water district. And if people skipped one week of irrigation this season, it could save an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of water.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District offers these tips for residents to determine when their grass needs water:
? The grass blades are folded in half lengthwise on at least one-third of the yard.
? The blades appear blue-gray.
? Grass blades do not spring back, leaving footprints on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.
For more information about water restrictions and water conservation, visit the district website at WaterMatters.org/SkipAWeek.