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  1. 2/24/2012 SAVE A HEAP LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!
  2. Do you have a landscape watering system with preset controls? Experts estimate that as much as 50 percent of water applied by irrigation systems is wasted due to overwatering caused by inefficiencies! Leap Day, February 29, is a great time to stop and use a few of those extra minutes to check your irrigation system’s control settings and schedules.
     
    It’s important to adjust your irrigation controller based on the season; in most climates, plants don’t need summer levels of watering during the rest of the year. A simple check and adjustment can ensure that your system operates at its maximum efficiency.
     
    If your system uses a traditional clock timer, you may want to consider installing a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather data to automatically adjust watering schedules and systems to better match plants’ water needs. WaterSense recently released a final specification for these controllers, which do the thinking for you in terms of when and how much to water. WaterSense labeled models of these weather-based irrigation controllers should be available soon; visit the WaterSense website for more information.
     
    Even if you don’t have an irrigation system, it’s still a good time to consider low-maintenance landscaping that uses less water and still looks lovely. Consider some new, drought-tolerant plants for your yard this spring. Native plants that don’t require supplemental irrigation will help you keep your water bills low and provide a beautiful landscape. You can find a local plant list from your water utility, cooperative extension service, or on the WaterSense website.
     
    And for those who like a lush lawn, take a little leap on your grass this spring to avoid overwatering. If you step on your lawn and the grass springs back, it does not need to be watered. Use this easy method to save on water while still keeping your lawn healthy and learn more outdoor watering tips.