WHAT’S NEEDED NOW FOR WATER CONSERVATION
You will be receiving this Water Conservation Insert in your Village Tax Bill being mailed at the end of May 2019.
Why Do We Need To Conserve Water?
“We have beneath our feet an incredible natural resource that provides drinking water for Long Islanders from Great Neck to Montauk and it’s imperative that we engage with the public to make sure they use our water resources wisely,” said LICAP Vice Chair Paul Granger. “This comprehensive campaign will help ensure the Long Islanders are aware of the easy steps they can take to save water, save money and save our sole source aquifer.” The Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection (LICAP, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone and concerned stakeholders from all over Long Island unveiled a comprehensive media campaign to launch a long-term effort to encourage Long Islanders to conserve the sole source aquifer system that provides 100% of Long Island’s drinking water.
Why Is Lawn Irrigation A Major Factor?
In the spring when you put your hoses out, wrap the treads with thread seal tape (thin white tape, about $1 in any hardware store). Makes a stronger seal and virtually eliminates leaks. A leaky connection can waste nearly a hundred gallons of water in a month!
Don’t rush to start watering your lawn too early in the season. Barring very unusual weather, there is seldom a reason to irrigate before June in Suffolk County. The weather is normally cool and there is lots of rain.
If your lawn is thick with a dense cover of grass, you probably don’t need a spring fertilizer. The lawn is getting enough nutrients from the soil, grass mulch and a late season feeding.
For a great yard, you need a great root system. Nutrients released from the soil, grass clipping mulch and a late season feeding will promote strong root growth. Too much water, though, will make the root system weak.
Remember – Suffolk County gets almost 1 inch of rain a week during the growing season, and lawns only need 1-1.5 inches of rain a week. The math is simple. Water, but don’t over water. Lawns survive well.
If you think your lawn needs water, test it by walking on it. If the grass bounces back a few steps later, then it’s just fine. If your footprints remain, you may need some water. … but don’t over-do it… and check to see if rain is forecast first.
Use native plants in your landscape. They require less care and water than ornamental varieties. Your garden center or landscaper can give you good advice… and remember to ask about deer-resistant varieties.
In heavily shaded areas, try shade tolerant perennials, annuals, and ground covers……ferns and others. *
In sunny areas, you can plant wildflowers, junipers and sedum. *
*This is just a short starting list… but remember……… deer resistant does NOT mean deer-proof. Deer will sample almost anything. Be prepared.
Use products like Deer-Off and spray frequently. We plant impatiens….which deer like……………………………. and have been successful.
Switch to drip irrigation for watering shrubs. Drip irrigation is much more efficient than sprinklers, are reasonable inexpensive and easy to set up.
When you water trees and bushes, don’t water at the trunk or on leaves. Water under the edge of the leaf canopy…….. which is called the drip line.
That’s where the roots are.
If you do your own fertilizing ………….
To fertilize properly talk to an expert or read the bag carefully. There will be 3 numbers on the front of the bag: the first will be for Nitrogen, the second for Phosphorus and the third for Potassium. Unless you have a new lawn or have tests showing that you specifically need Phosphorus, the middle number should be O (zero). Phosphorus is a major pollutant in waterways, harming fish and causing closures for swimming.
By Suffolk County Law, you cannot apply any fertilizer between November 1 and April 1. Do not fertilize when heavy rain is expected. After applying, lightly water (1/4 inch) to get fertilizer off the blades and into the soil.
The Suffolk County Water Authority has a campaign for using water efficiently. Join SCWA’s East End Water Wise Club at www.scwa.com/eastendwaterclub/