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County Asks Homeowners to Reduce Irrigation This Winter

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on January 18, 2020

Overwatering in winter encourages pests and diseases.

County Asks Homeowners to Reduce Irrigation This Winter

The Citrus County Department of Water Resources is reminding residents to reduce irrigation frequency to about once every two weeks in January and February.  Too much water in winter can lead to lawn disease, pests, and weed growth.  

“As days shorten and nights cool, most lawns in Citrus County slow growth and go into some sort of dormancy,” said Debra Burden, water conservation manager. “Dormancy means less water and mowing, and no fertilizer.”

Burden says it is important to allow grassroots to dry out after irrigation or rainfall.  Some citizens have reported rainfall alone has allowed them to go all winter without irrigation.  Florida averages more than fifty inches of rainfall each year. Some research suggests that lawns can go as many as 23 days without irrigation or rainfall in our region.

Unless the irrigation system has a Water Sense labeled controller that automatically adjusts irrigation seasonally, Burden suggests reducing irrigation to about once every 14 days.  Wait another 14 days after receiving 1/2” of rainfall. 

Some find it easiest to simply turn the controller to the ‘OFF’ position, and then back ‘ON’ after two weeks of no rainfall.  Do not unplug the controller, as this could cause it to lose settings. 

As spring approaches and the weather warms, schedule irrigation on your next allowable watering day if the lawn show signs it needs water, like grass blades folded in half lengthwise, a blue-gray appearance or footprints that linger in the lawn.

According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, watering only every other week at most during the winter will help conserve drinking water supplies that the public needs for critical uses during the dry season. In fact, if everyone skipped one week of irrigation this season, it could save an estimated 1.9 billion gallons of water.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, call 352-527-7669.

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