Being waterSmart: The secrets you need to know

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Everyone loves a beautiful lawn and garden. It's very important to know how to be waterSmart. WaterSmart...

Everyone loves a beautiful lawn and garden. It's very important to know how to be waterSmart. WaterSmart is a new program that is used to educate people about water usage and conservation in Georgia. Developed by the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, it's now a statewide program. The program encourages Georgia residents to water efficiently; for example, always water obviously stressed plants first--these will be limp or a grey-green color. Water deeply, and be sure to water early in the morning or at night.

The heat and lack of rain in the south usually results in water restrictions. There are some things you need to know in order to have a green lawn and flowers this summer. Remember that azaleas and dogwood trees have very shallow roots and should be watered with less water and more often than larger bushes and trees. Storing water for this purpose is allowed.

State water schedule

You are allowed to water your yard from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. This is the only time you can use automated sprinklers. To wash cars, hose off siding on a house or perform other outdoor tasks, there is the odd and even system that is followed. If your house has an odd-numbered address, you can water Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. If your house has an even-numbered address, you can water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Effects on industry

Georgia water restrictions have also affected businesses. For example, new businesses such as car washes or factories do not want to open if they need large amounts of water. Water usage also affects the tourism industry, since water parks and large hotels cannot attract visitors if water is restricted. This also has a major effect on jobs in the area.

What tips you need to know

  • Do not skip any water times and try to catch up. Not only will you receive a fine, but you need to keep your plants on a schedule.
  • Being waterSmart also means filling containers with water during the scheduled times so that you can hand water during between times when it gets hot and dry.
  • Hand watering is not restricted. So if you see the azaleas drooping in the heat, take a small watering can and sprinkle a bit of water on them.
  • Remember that all above-ground watering systems are restricted. What I think helps is using those plastic and glass watering bulbs. They hold quite a bit of water, and it's helpful to add a few to your roses or treasured bushes.
  • Mixing in perlite and water release tablets into the soil around your trees and bushes will help to retain the water through the drier days. They last for months and help the plants thrive.

Being waterSmart means being aware. Pay attention to your plants and lawn. This is not the time to fertilize the lawn, as fertilizer can burn if not diluted with lots of water. Remember, a beautiful green lawn and colorful flowers are possible with planning, even with water restrictions.

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