by Charlene Burgi
Unless there is a vegetable garden requiring our daily attention, August always seems like the month when we gardeners can kick back and relax. September, on the other hand, is the magic month for gardening. It is the time to shop for the best selection of bulbs to add sparks of color in the spring. It is also the time for lawns to be installed, as well as shrubs and trees to be planted to fill in those bare spots, to help establish their root systems before winter is upon us.
September can be a tricky month for watering. The evenings typically become cooler and daylight hours are noticeably shorter, giving our plants a respite from long, hot summer days. Yet, we also can experience warm, sunny days that prompt us to crank the water onto our gardens, forgetting that our plants do not require as much water now as they did in June and July. Ah, for the love of a smart irrigation controller that calculates exactly what our plants need at this moment based on evapotranspiration and provides just the right amount of irrigation!
So the timing couldn’t be better for MMWD’s new rebate programs, which launched September 1. Now you can “get paid to save” with rebates on select water-saving toilets, clothes washers and smart irrigation controllers. Replacing high-water-use toilets and old washing machines are straightforward for saving money and water. The installations of these water-savers are relatively simple. Smart controllers are a bit more complicated. A smart controller is only as smart as the design of an irrigation system. Topography, soil type, sun exposure and the variety of sprinklers in your system all affect the performance you can expect from the smart controller. Before considering a smart controller, you’ll want to make sure your irrigation system is operating efficiently.
To apply for a smart controller rebate, call MMWD at (415) 945-1527 to schedule a free water conservation survey at your property before purchasing your controller. This visit is a win-win for you and your garden. One of MMWD’s experts will help you identify ways to save water both outdoors and in, and will provide you with additional information about smart controllers to help you decide if the technology is a good match for you. At the conclusion of the survey, our expert will provide you with a Smart Controller Rebate Application form and let you know how much of a rebate you may qualify for. (Rebates are up to $20 per active residential valve station or $30 for commercial.)
You may want to hire a professional to install and fine-tune your smart controller. But once it is up and running, your new smart controller will automatically adjust the run times as the weather changes, freeing up your time to do as you please. And with a smart controller programmed for your specific garden, your plants will be happy, too!