The Facts on this Year’s Drought with Adam Jones
We’ve all been reading in the news lately about Florida being in a drought this spring. See what an expert has to say about this unusual dry spell.
We reached out to Adam Jones, our VP of Quality Assurance, for more detailed information about the drought and what we can be doing for our landscapes and irrigation systems at this time of year. Here’s what he shared with us:
Do we typically experience drought conditions in the spring?
AJ: Mid-October – May is Florida’s drier season. We may experience some rain but the majority of our precipitation is during the hot, summer months. The biggest factor that exacerbates our seasonal dry conditions is Florida’s sandy soil, which doesn’t retain much moisture. Because of this, drought stress can show up quickly when temperatures rise and plants begin to demand more water.
Are our landscapes in danger of damage?
AJ: In April and May, we begin to experience temperatures rising into the mid-80’s and low 90’s, with very little rain. These are critical months to ensure your irrigation system is functioning properly because the heat is returning with very little rainfall.
What can I do to prevent damage to my landscape?
AJ: Make sure your irrigation system is functioning properly and providing your landscape with the right coverage. The water should be landing on your plants and grass and not on paved areas. If you notice drier areas in your lawn, this may mean that section is not receiving enough water. Inspect the system frequently to ensure it is operating efficiently and you don’t have any broken or misaligned sprinkler heads.
How often should I be watering my landscape?
AJ: Most counties in Florida allow you to water twice a week during daylight saving time, which began on March 12, 2017 and ends on November 5, 2017. Be sure to check with your local Water Management District office or Cooperative Extension Service office to find out how often you can water in your area. In April and May there may be days where the landscape needs more supplemental irrigation than just twice per week. Be on the lookout for dry spots in the lawn and be prepared to hand water those areas between scheduled irrigation days.
When should I be watering?
AJ: Your water management district typically provides specific days when you can water your landscape, such as homes that have an even address can water on Sunday’s and Thursday’s. The best time to water is in the early morning hours when temperatures are at their lowest.