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New Outdoor Water Use Rules

Original Source: 
Sheryl Wells, University of Georgia Biological and Agricultural Engineering
June 15, 2010
New outdoor water use rules were recently created and are part of the Georgia Water Stewardship Act (Senate Bill 370). According to Governor Perdue, “The Water Stewardship Act is the next step forward as we continue building a statewide culture of conservation”.    Water conservation is critical as population growth increases and can be achieved through efficient outdoor water use and implementing “Best Management Practices” in the landscape. It is our responsibility to be stewards of water, which is our most important resource, by protecting it for future generations.
Outdoor Water Use Rules became effective June 1, 2010 and are as follows:
  • Between the hours of 4pm and 10am persons may irrigate outdoors daily for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants.

Summer Vegetable Garden Care

As the days get hotter and drier, keep a watchful eye on your vegetable garden. Careful attention to a few details will help your garden produce a bountiful harvest all summer.

Water Management

Focus your attention on water management first. Most gardens need at least 1 inch of water per week. If it doesn't rain, apply a half-inch of water twice a week.

Fall Perfect for Planting Trees

The glaring heat of this summer may have you convinced that you need more shade in your yard. And fall is the perfect time to plant trees to create that needed shade.

Fall planting allows the trees' root systems to become established and supply the moisture needed for next spring's growth. This way your trees will get off to a great start.

Using Wood Chips

Powerful tornadoes and thunderstorms often rake across Georgia in the spring. Trees fall, limbs are snapped and landscapes are devastated. After a storm, homeowners, landscapers and tree companies are faced with mounds of wood chips that must be used on site or taken to a local composting facility.

Homeowners may have questions about using chips in their landscape. Here is a collection of pointers from Dr. Kim Coder, Extension Forest Resources Specialist:

Watering Lawns

Proper watering of turfgrasses is essential to producing an attractive, healthy lawn.

Many factors influence the amount and frequency of water needed for a home lawn. Soil type, type of grass, management level, frequency of rain, temperatures, wind and humidity all affect the amount of water needed. High level maintenance and hot, windy days tend to increase the demand for water, while low level maintenance and cool, cloudy days tend to decrease the demand for water.

The best time to apply water is just before wilt occurs.

Slow The Flow - Make Every Drop Count

Make every drop of water count so that everyone has enough to use all summer long.

General Watering Tips

• When watering, wet the soil to a depth of about 6-8 inches which is about one inch of water. Short, surface waterings do more harm than good by encouraging shallow roots.

• Three to five gallons of water, or less than one minute of watering with a garden hose, will saturate the root zone of a plant.

• Established shrubs can survive with one 30 second hand-watering into their root zones every 2-3 weeks.

Watering Trees

Water is the single most limiting essential resource for tree survival and growth. Water shortages severely damage young and old trees alike, and set up healthy trees for other problems. Drought conditions can lead to tree decline, disease and insect problems and non-recoverable damage. Supplemental watering can greatly assist in maintaining tree health during droughts - both during the growing season or during the dormant season.

How To Water