Overwatering in winter can encourage pests and disease

southwest_florida_water_management_districtThe Southwest Florida Water Management District recently launched a new campaign to encourage residents who irrigate their lawns to “Skip a Week” of watering during the cooler months of December, January and February.

According to research by the University of Florida, grass doesn’t need to be watered as often during the cooler months. In fact, one-half to three-quarters of an inch of water every 10–14 days is sufficient.

“Over-watering in the winter can encourage pests and disease in your lawn,” said Sylvia Durell, Florida-friendly landscaping project manager. Skipping a week of watering is as easy as “off” for residents with irrigation timers. “Turn the timer to ‘off’ for the week that you want to skip, and ‘on’ for the week that you want to water,” said Durell.

Homeowners can determine when their grass needs water when:

Grass blades are folded in half lengthwise on 30 percent of the lawn

Grass blades are blue-gray

Footprints remain on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it

Skipping a week of irrigation will help conserve drinking water supplies. Following the “Skip a Week” plan saves water that the public needs for other critical uses during the dry season.

In addition to entering the dry season, the region is experiencing the effects of a four-year drought. All 16 counties within the District are under one-day-per-week lawn watering restrictions through the end of February.

For more water conservation tips, information about the drought and the current water restrictions, please visit the District’s web site at WaterMatters.org/skipaweek.