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A healthy lawn using less water? UF/IFAS can show you how

This summer, UF/IFAS Extension agents across central Florida will host free weekly webinars aimed to help residents maintain a healthy lawn and conserve one of Florida’s most valuable resource, water.

“The average residential irrigation cycle consumes several thousand gallons of water during each irrigation event,” said Yilin Zhuang, UF/IFAS Extension Central District water resources regional specialized agent. “Water conservation has become a major concern for Florida as the water demand increases and the available supply per capita decreases.”

Topics include irrigation scheduling, reclaimed water, landscape and turfgrass maintenance and microirrigation. Webinars will take place via Zoom every Thursday at 2 p.m. between July 1 and August 19.

More than 60% of the potable water used by the public is used in a residential setting according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey report. This public supply category is responsible for the largest single portion of all groundwater withdrawal in Florida. The public uses more groundwater than both the agriculture and industrial categories.

“Overwatering the lawn and landscape is a common mistake many homeowners make,” Zhuang said. “Many irrigation systems leave ‘dead spots’ in the lawn due to poor design, which results in over-irrigation efforts to keep the entire lawn healthy. These webinars will give tips that help keep your lawn health while also reducing water consumption.”

The webinar is a collaboration among UF/IFAS Extension agents across the central Florida area.

“The Central Florida Water Initiative, a collaborative water supply planning effort among three of the largest water management districts and other organizations, predicts by 2035 there will be a potential need and deficiency of 250 million gallons per day,” said Tina McIntyre, UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ agent. “With that prediction about the future of water in our area, water conservation and protection are paramount. With so much of home water use taking place in the landscape, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is the solution and we can all take part.”

To register or for more information, visit the UF/IFAS event blog page.