Kauai is surrounded by water, it’s true, but available clean water for drinking, recreational use and keeping our landscapes healthy is limited. We may not experience the water restrictions that other continental states do, but the microclimates here on Kauai prove just how quickly the landscape can go from lush to very thirsty.
At No Ka Oi, water conservation as it relates to our clients’ irrigation is always top of mind. July is officially Smart Irrigation Month, but we’re focused on efficient watering practices year-round. And we’re not just talking about tuning up your irrigation system.
Smart irrigation starts with choosing water-wise plants, then ensuring proper irrigation technology is in place, followed with monitoring the system, and identifying any water-waste culprits. On Kauai, our microclimates affect irrigation efficiency. The east side of the island may get heavy rains, while the dry west side stays parched. Our professionals have a deep knowledge of the island’s weather and how to properly manage irrigation systems no matter where your commercial property is located on Kauai.
Read on for five insights into the plant selection and maintenance expertise our landscape specialists perform to ensure efficient watering.
Smart Irrigation Insight #1: Know Your Plants & Soil
We can limit irrigation and reduce water use on our Kauai landscapes by considering soil type and plant selection, and making choices that will conserve this natural resource.
The type of soil determines water run-off—and soil type varies on Kauai, depending on your location. Some soils in Kauai are formed from weathered basaltic lava; others are formed in the riverbeds have poor drainage and create wetlands landscapes. Think of soil as a sponge. Depending on its composition, it will soak in lots of water, or absorb less and cause runoff. When water runs off of soil, it goes to waste. So, landscape professionals must completely understand the soil composition and factor this into the irrigation system.
Some plants require more maintenance on Kauai than others. We work to choose varieties that thrive with limited irrigation requirements, if possible.
Smart Irrigation Insight #2: Mind Your Property’s Microclimates
We talk about Kauai’s microclimates, but even your individual property has microclimates: areas that receive more sun,
An irrigation system is divided into zones based on these property microclimates, and each zone should be configured based on watering needs.shade with varying soils. The position of your trees or your property’s exposure to the coast affects your irrigation needs.
Smart Irrigation Insight #3: Adjust Your Spray heads
How often do you dodge sprinkler spray while walking on a sidewalk? Water goes to waste when irrigation spray heads are not properly positioned to water just the landscape.
If your configuration is off even a bit, the spray can land on pavement and hardscape surfaces, run off and go down the drain.
Smart Irrigation Insight #4: Water Early, Water Deep
Irrigation controllers are adjusted to watering schedules that suit different needs. This allows a landscape professional to determine where, when and how often the irrigation system will water your Kauai property. We can conserve water by irrigating when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. This is typically in the early morning and evening.
Watering in mid-day during high heat can result in 30 percent water loss due to evaporation. As for how long a system runs, watering longer will completely saturate roots, and this is best for the plant. Watering too frequently results in shallow roots and potential weed, disease and fungus development. Plus, watering in “spurts” may waste water because it could mostly evaporate before seeping into the soil and reaching plant roots.
Smart Irrigation Insight #5: Perform An Irrigation Audit
The efficiency and effectiveness of your irrigation system depends on a number of factors. For one, the system’s pressure regulates the spray. That can change over time and affect efficiency if not monitored.
Also, every system will develop a leak at some point. Be on the lookout for leaks, and broken or clogged spray heads.
An irrigation audit may be performed to test the system for efficiency and ensure that the landscape is being watered properly based on its needs.
A Water-Smart Strategy: Call No Ka Oi for Irrigation Management
Smart irrigation year-round will conserve water, reduce your cost and keep plants healthy. No Ka Oi’s commercial landscape specialists can take an inventory of your commercial property and assess the irrigation system’s effectiveness, or design a modern system that makes good water sense.
Let’s talk more. Give us a call any time at 808-335-5887, or fill out our simple contact form and we’ll get in touch with you!