Not only does improper watering waste valuable water, but excess irrigation water can also carry fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants to ground and surface waters.
Some key points to remember during those critical gardening months:
~Use a rain gauge to measure weekly rainfall and apply only the amount of supplemental water needed.
~Avoid frequent watering, it encourages shallow root depths and can weaken plants. One thorough watering event each week is best.
~Use low pressure/low volume watering systems such as soaker hoses and drip irrigation for gardens and beds. This reduces water losses due to evaporation, and the low flow rates minimize the potential for water leaching below the root zone or running off the surface. Water is also applied at or near the root zone where the plants need it most.
~For when it does actually rain in NJ, one of the best ways to harness that resource is to utilize a rain barrel.