The best way to have a healthy yard next spring is to treat it right this winter. This weekend we will be returning to Eastern Standard Time. So in addition to setting your clocks back an hour, you need to reset your irrigation controller to once a week or less.
During Eastern Standard Time (November 4 through March 9), outside irrigation is reduced to one day per week. Odd-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Saturdays; even-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Sundays; and commercial and non-residential properties may irrigate on Tuesdays during this period. In Titusville, well water, city water, and reclaimed water all fall under the irrigation restrictions. Landscape irrigation schedules are set by the St. Johns River Water Management District and are linked to semiannual time zone changes.
Plants and turf have different watering needs during the fall and winter. Shorter days and cooler temperatures reduce growth rates and the need for irrigation. According to Maureen Phillips, City of Titusville Water Resources’ Water Conservation & Public Outreach Manager, “Watering in the winter at the same level as the summer can cause more harm than good to your yard by encouraging weeds and fungal growth. It can also cause a plant to put out new growth, which makes it more susceptible to damage during a cold snap. Disturbing the normal growth cycle causes stress to the plant and makes it susceptible to disease and pests.”
As a reminder to residents of the reduction in irrigation days, Titusville recently placed eye-catching ads on benches throughout the city. The ads ask residents if their sprinklers are on and then reminds them that the once-a-week schedule starts November 4.
To learn more about the irrigation restrictions and making their yards Florida-Friendly, Titusville residents can contact Titusville’s Water Resources Conservation Office at 321-567-3865 or visit the Water Resources Conservation Program’s pages at www.titusville.com/irrigation.