Outdoor Tips

    Lawn Care

    1. #81

      Hire a qualified pro to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently.

    2. #82

      Hire a Smartscape Certified professional landscaper who has received landscape training specific to the Sonoran Desert.

    3. #83

      Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.

    4. #84

      Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.

    5. #85

      If installing a lawn, select a lawn mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.

    6. #86

      Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.

    7. #87

      If walking across the lawn leaves footprints (blades don’t spring back up), then it is time to water.

    8. #88

      Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three to four weeks, less if it rains.

    9. #89

      Avoid overseeding your lawn with winter grass. Ryegrass needs water every few days, whereas Dormant Bermuda grass needs water monthly.

    10. #90

      Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.

    11. #91

      While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.

    12. #92

      Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.

    13. #93

      Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. 3/4 to 1 inch of water is enough to apply each time you irrigate.


      1. #118

        Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.

      2. #119

        Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.

      3. #120

        If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.

      4. #121

        When back-washing your pool, consider using the water on salt-tolerant plants in the landscape.

      5. #122

        Minimize or eliminate the use of waterfalls and sprays in your pool. Aeration increases evaporation.

      6. #123

        Don’t overfill the pool. Lower water levels will reduce water loss due to splashing.

      7. #124

        Keep water in the pool when playing, it will save water.

      8. #125

        Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.

      9. #126

        Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those that spray water into the air.

      10. #127

        Use a grease pencil to conduct a bucket test to check for pool leaks. An unnatural water level drop may indicate a leak.

      General Outdoor

      1. #128

        Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.

      2. #129

        For more immediate hot water and energy savings, insulate hot water pipes.

      3. #130

        Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.

      4. #131

        Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 100 gallons every time.

      5. #132

        Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.

      6. #133

        When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.

      7. #134

        When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

      8. #135

        Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.

      9. #136

        Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance check. For more efficient cooling, check your evaporative cooler annually.

      10. #137

        If you have an evaporative cooler, direct the water drain to plants in your landscape.

      11. #138

        Set water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save both water and chemicals, plus energy, too.

      12. #139

        If you have an evaporative cooler, install a recirculating pump to keep water from bleeding off with one pass.

      13. #140

        Report broken pipes, leaky hydrants and errant sprinklers to property owners or your local water provider.

      14. #141

        Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. Were a pipe to burst, this could save gallons of water and prevent damage.

      15. #142

        Install a thermostat and timer on your evaporative cooler so it only operates when necessary.