GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Watering at night

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 19, 2009

I have a fairly large slope in my back yard with a variety of ground cover plants and some trees. Sprinklers are the only practical way for me to water the whole thing. I do use the low-water rotator nozzles that the water department recommends, and judge for myself when to water (subject to current rules, of course) instead of using automatics.

Just for illustration.  I water at night.

Just for illustration. I water at night.

Especially during these hot summer days, I can’t see any sense in firing up the sprinklers at 8 or 9am, only to see huge quantities of mist evaporate in mid-air right away and in short order the sun dries up the soil too. Instead, I usually choose 10 or 11pm. The next morning, the ground is still moist and I’m comfortable knowing that most of the water was absorbed into the ground and the plants had several hours to take advantage of the moisture. As for lawns, I’ve read that it’s best to water in the early morning so that the grass doesn’t stay wet for an extended period and become infected with something or other. On the other hand, I’ve read that morning watering extends the period of time that a lawn is wet because during the night it gets wet from dew.  For San Diego’s dry climate, I think night watering is the way to go.

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