Tag: Water

World Water Day 2013

Today marks the celebration of World Water Day, a day set apart by the United Nations to increase water awareness and promote sustainable management of freshwater resources. So, in honor of World Water Day, we’d like to share a few facts about water around the world.

World Water by Numbers

  • Water, energy, and food are intrinsically linked: water is needed to produce energy, energy is needed to deliver the water needed for food production [1]
  • In much of the world, water plays a role in gender inequality. Research in sub-Saharan Africa suggests that women and girls in low-income countries spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water. That’s time spent they could have used for education or other work and family care! [2]
  • In 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished [3]
  • About every 19 seconds, a mother loses a child due to a water related illness [4]
  • 1.8 billion people around the world still lack access to fresh water [5]
  • The average American uses 100 to 176 gallons of water per day; in contrast, the average African family uses 5 gallons of water per day! [6]

For more about the world water crisis, check out this video produced by charity: water.

Whether it’s related to our personal hygiene, the food we eat, our yard and home care routine, the products we use, or the clothes we wear, water influences every aspect of our daily lives.

This year’s theme for World Water Day is cooperation. Here’s what the UN has to say about water cooperation:

“Water is a shared resource and its management need to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. This provides opportunities for cooperation among users. . . . Promoting water cooperation implies an interdisciplinary approach bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions.”

Here at Orbit, much of our business revolves around water. We are dedicated to protecting and conserving this precious resource while helping homeowners around the world maintain beautiful landscapes. Please join us in using smart water management skills, heeding water regulations in your area, and doing your part to keep our water resources safe. You can visit our conservation resources pages on our website and on this blog.

We’re interested. Please share what you are doing to conserve water.

Midsummer Watering Tips

My Midsummer Night’s Dream

With the very top of summer sliding past,
I often wonder, what’s up with my grass?
It’s brown, it crackles,
It raises my hackles,
And I despair
That it is beyond repair.

It would be a midsummer night’s dream,
For my grass to appear a lush green,
Just in time for my soiree
Where we will play a lively round of croquet.

So dearest Titania, send me a fairy
“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire. . . .
Swifter than the moon’s sphere . . .
To dew [my herbs] upon the green”
And thus fulfill my midsummer night’s dream.

Midsummer Watering Tips

All rhyming aside, (and due to lack of Shakespearian fairies) here are some tips to keep your yard looking lush and green through the rest of the summer:

  • Interval watering – do you have stubborn brown spots popping up on your lawn? Rather than adding more water, try interval watering. Water each zone for 10-15 minutes, and then repeat 2 more times. This allows the water to soak into the soil without running off into the neighbor’s yard or down the drain. Do this 2-3 times per week (or as needed).
  • Raise you lawn mower height. A slight raise in the length of your lawn protects the roots from the blaring summer sun and keeps your lawn looking healthier.
  • Sharpen your lawn mower blades. This cuts the grass rather than tearing it and protects your lawn from disease.
  • Keep those weeds down. Unwanted weeds compete with your existing landscaping for much needed water. Eliminating that competition helps your plants to thrive.

Keeping it Cool

pro flo 7 pattern watering wand with thumb control

Some of my best childhood memories are of rounding up a bunch of friends and running carefree around the backyard being drenched by the sprinklers.  Who didn’t love the spraying frenzy?  After about fifteen minutes of sprinkler time I would race for the hose and start squirting everyone!  Sooner or later they would get the courage to chase me down to try to pry it from my hands.  Finding myself outnumbered I would make a quick retreat to the most convenient place, the roof.  That’s right, the roof (good thing mom didn’t know…) Waiting for me here was a pile of water balloons and water guns.  I had the perfect place to continue my water war.  That’s how I kept it cool during those fun & hot summer days.

Sadly, my rooftop water warring days are over now, but here are some new water efficient, safe ideas for keeping cool.  The ArizonaMist kits and a Chilly Mate are two of Orbit’s best misting products.  Did you know that patio misting kits can drop the temperature by up to 20 degrees?  It’s been triple-digits four days in a row here.  A mist system keeps temps in the comfy low 80’s.  Also, if you are planning any kind of outdoor activity, don’t forget to grab a  Chilly Mate.  They are a perfect way to keep yourself cool!

Click here for 15 great tips for staying cool this Summer.  My favorite is tip #7 so let me know what you think.  If you are planning a trip you will want to look at this site: National Weather Service.  You will learn how to keep cool with some awesome heat safety tips and some instruction for treating heat disorders (sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke).

Thanks for reading and have fun keeping cool!

Jeff

Hose Faucet Timers

Joke:

Three plants are talking to each other just after being watered. One says: “Tell me, how did he know we were thirsty? Who told him?”

Another answers: “I think one of us must be a plant.”

Okay, lame jokes aside, how do you know your plants are being consistently watered whether you are at home or away? One great solution is a hose faucet timer.

What is a hose faucet timer?

A hose faucet timer is a simple device that attaches to your faucet and automates hose watering. It is a great addition to your sprinkler system or, in some cases, can act as an independent watering system.

How does it work?

It’s pretty simple:

  • Attach the timer to your faucet
  • Connect your hose to your timer.
  • Set your watering preferences.
  • Go do everything else on that long to-do list you have.

Want to see for yourself? Just check out this video.

What are your options?

There are plenty of options, from a timer with one outlet for basic needs, to a timer with four outlets to create a whole watering system. So visit our website or your local home improvement store to learn more!

Square Foot Gardening

Orbit Irrigation traveling sprinkler

With processed foods increasingly prevalent, many people are seeking natural and organic options for their diet.  But a trip to your local grocery store will reveal that although going green may be healthier for your diet, it does little for your budget.

To combat these high prices many people are growing their own produce and square foot gardening is making it easy.

What is Square Foot Gardening?

Square foot gardening is an innovative approach to traditional single-row gardening.  At its basic level, square foot gardening consists of a 4′ x 4″ raised planter with 16 units.  Each square foot unit is used to plant a different crop.  This system takes less work, is easy to maintain, wastes less water and materials (such as seeds), and yields plenty of crops.

For tips on how to set up your own square foot garden, click here.

Watering Your Square Foot Garden

There are a number of ways to water your square foot garden, they include: Bucket watering, Hose watering, Soaker Hose watering, Sprinkler System watering, and Drip Irrigation.*

Bucket Watering

This includes a large bucket of sun-warmed water and a cup.  Water each plant with a cup of water.  Although this method is inexpensive, it is tedious work that someone must attend to each day.

Hose Watering

Use a gentle hose-end attachment to water each plant.  Setbacks to this method include increased risk of molds and fungi (due to the leaves getting wet) and the fact that this system is not automated.

You can browse Orbit’s hose-end products here.

Soaker Hose Watering

A soaker hose is a porous hose that allows water to seep slowly into the soil.  It is less work, but you still have to remember to turn it on—to combat this issue you can try one of Orbit’s hose faucet timers.  While this method protects the leaves of your plants, you cannot control which plants receive more water and it is still difficult to ensure even watering.

Sprinkler System Watering

Rather than try to water your garden individually, you can adjust your sprinkler system to also cover your square foot garden.  This approach is convenient because it is automated; however, you are less likely to receive even coverage and the leaves of your plants will be watered, increasing your risk for mold and fungus.

Drip Irrigation

Many square foot gardeners feel that drip irrigation is the ideal method of watering your garden.  Drip systems allow the water to soak directly into the soil with the added convenience of flow adjustment for individual plants.  These systems are also automated, ensuring consistent watering.

Despite what some people may think, drip irrigation is fairly simple to set up.  For help and tips you can check out Orbit’s Free Installation Guide.  Or you can view our Drip Made Easy videos.

 

As always, if you have any questions, please give us a call at: 1 (800) 488-6156.  Good luck with your square foot garden and enjoy a warm and healthy summer!

*Special thanks to: My Square Foot Garden

Water Conservation – Save Water and Money

Are you interested in water conservation?  Do you want to save money?  Just interested in having a beautiful yard?

You can save water and money.  Here’s how:

  • Start your sprinkler system right—inspect, repair, and adjust
  • Set your sprinkler timer schedule—aim to apply about 1”-1.5” of water per week during cooler months
  • Adjust your watering frequency—depending on the time of year, soil type, and plant needs

How much water am I using?

Sprinkler heads release water at the rate of about 1.5 to 3 Gallons per Minute (GPM).  So let’s say that you have 50 sprinkler heads releasing water at 3 GPM.  That means you are using 150 gallons of water per minute!  Now, run your sprinklers for 20 minutes and how much water are you using?

The answer: 3000 gallons of water!

What could I do with 3000 gallons of water?

That’s enough to fill: a 4’ x 18’ swimming pool (1900 Gal), a 4-person hot tub (700 Gal), and 10 bath tubs (400 Gal)!

Bigger isn’t Always Better

Many nutritionists suggest that eating smaller meals more frequently is better for your health.  In a similar way, it may be beneficial to break up watering duration for each zone into multiple cycles for optimal absorption.

As always, each yard is unique.  Consider your individual needs and factors—season, climate, plant and soil types, and other similar influences—for the best results.

Want to Learn More about Conservation?

Orbit believes in Conservation through Innovation.  With an increased awareness of our water usage and some easy adjustments we believe that everyone can have beautiful, eco-friendly yards.

For more information visit: