The City of Titusville, Florida / Water Resources / NewsFall & Winter Irrigation Schedule
Fall & Winter Irrigation Schedule
TITUSVILLE, FL - (October 26, 2016) – Fall in Florida is a bit more subtle than in the northern states, but we still experience reduced sunlight, cooler temperatures, and reduced rainfall. Fall is also when clocks are turned back to return to Eastern Standard Time. When you turn back your clock on November 6, you also need to reset your irrigation controller. November 6 not only marks the beginning of Eastern Standard Time, but also the beginning of the fall and winter irrigation schedule.
During Eastern Standard Time (November 6 through March 11), outside irrigation is reduced to only one day per week. Odd-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Saturdays; even-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Sundays; and commercial and non-residential properties may irrigate on Tuesdays only during this period. In Titusville, well water, city water, and reclaimed water all fall under the irrigation restrictions.
During the fall and winter, plants and grass growth rates slow down. This reduced growth rate reduces the need for irrigation. Watering your landscape when it is not needed encourages fungal growth, as well as disturbs the normal growth cycle. A plant with new growth is more susceptible to damage during a cold snap. New growth also increases the plant’s need to produce more food, which is tied to the amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients available. If any of these elements are missing, the plant becomes stressed and more susceptible to disease.
Landscape irrigation schedules are set by the St. Johns River Water Management District and have been tied to time zone changes for over 7 years.
According to Maureen Phillips, City of Titusville Water Resources’ Water Conservation & Public Outreach Manager, the irrigation schedule mirrors what naturally occurs in the environment. Irrigation is reduced during the fall and winter because the growth rate of plants and grasses is reduced. Irrigation is increased during the spring and summer when growth rates increase. “People often think that the answer to any plant or lawn problem is to add more water,” Phillips explained. “What they don’t realize is that too much water can be the cause of many of the problems going on in their yard. Titusville is not in a tropical zone. Although our yards don’t experience the same degree of dormancy that northern plants experience, growth rates slow down considerably during this time of year. Bahia grass goes dormant and turns brown in the winter. Watering and fertilizing during this time is only going to encourage weeds.”
Titusville residents can find out more about the irrigation restrictions and Florida-Friendly landscaping by contacting Titusville’s Water Resources Conservation Office at 321-567-3865 or visiting the Water Resources Conservation Program’s pages at www.titusville.com/irrigation.