It’s Fall! My favorite time of year! — cooler temps, outdoor activities, football — what could be better? Well, the good, slow soaking rains our area received this week makes it even better. Most places are reporting about 4 inches.
Fall means that your landscape plants are going to be transitioning to dormancy soon. Shorter days and cooler nights tell plants to gradually slow down their growth to prepare for winter. You can help them make this transition by reducing the amount of water you are using in your landscape. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, TURN IT OFF right now before it comes on automatically. promise you that you don’t need to give your plants any more water after four inches of rain!
Most years, I turn off my system about this time, and may not need to turn it back on until spring. When plants are dormant, they need less water than during the summer. Last year, I only ran my system twice between October and April. Think how much you can save on your water bill! And overwatering during the fall and winter can be detrimental to your landscape plants and encourage root diseases.
Just stay aware of weather conditions. If we should have an unusually dry fall and winter, you may need to water a few times. But be sure to just run your sprinkler system manually if it is needed.
Of course, if you are planting new trees, shrubs or flowers, you will need to give the new plants some additional water for a while, but there is no need to run sprinklers on the entire landscape just to water some new plants.