Mesa: Get Your Landscape Ready for Monsoon Rains

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The monsoon season is days away - according to the National Weather Service, it runs from June 15 to September 30 - and the City of Mesa wants you to be ready.

Forecasts indicate that we may have a very wet and active monsoon season this summer, so be ready for wind, dust, and power outages... and hopefully, lots of rain. If the monsoon produces the anticipated rainfall, residents will have ample opportunity to tap into this natural water source - to benefit their landscape and save water.

Harvesting Rainwater

A rooftop of a 1,500-square-foot home can collect almost 500 gallons from just one-half inch of rain. That's a lot of beneficial, free water. Rainwater is a clean, salt-free source that contains nutrients and microorganisms that are good for plants. Rain that is collected in the landscape helps to replenish the groundwater or feed lakes or rivers. Concrete and asphalt disrupt this cycle. Learn more about the benefits of rainwater collection at https://www.mesaaz.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/34635/636975906482370000

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Turning Off the Irrigation Controller After a Rain

An easy way for homeowners to save water outdoors is to skip an irrigation cycle after a rain event. When a home gets at least one-half inch of rain, the irrigation controller can be shut off for one watering cycle. Controllers may or may not have an automatic rain shutoff, so the system may need to be manually shut off and then turned back on again. Look for directions in the owner's manual or visit our website for specific instructions on how to program an irrigation controller. Using a rain gauge is an easy way to determine if you received enough rain to turn off your controller.

Adjust Your Landscaping Activities

Although the temperatures are rising, your plants will use less water when there is higher humidity. Deep and infrequent watering is better for plant health and can prevent rot, fungus, or other diseases while supporting healthier roots. Proper staking, especially for young trees, can help them withstand the strong winds that often accompany monsoon storms. Avoid using insect or weed sprays if there is monsoon activity in the forecast. The chemicals can be washed from the landscape and end up in the city storm drain. The water runs into washes, lakes, retention basins, and even nearby rivers, without being treated. Lastly, don't forget power outages can impact your irrigation controller programming. If you haven't done so lately, replace the backup battery. Get your landscape ready for the monsoon season.

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For additional information on conserving water in your landscape all year long, visit https://mesaaz.gov/conservation.

Note that heavy monsoon rains can also cause flash flooding. Free sandbags are available to Mesa residents. Learn more at our storm preparation site, https://www.mesaaz.gov/residents/emergencies-power-outages/sandbags-storm-preparation#!/

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