Mine is not so much a 'keeping up with the Jonses' dilemma as it is trying to keep pace with every Tom, Dick and Harry who've moved into the neighborhood.
I'm green with envy at the freedom an automated watering system provides. While my neighbors are out riding their bikes, I'm schlepping hoses all over the yard. So, why haven't I conformed? The answer lies somewhere on that continuum between 'Can't Afford It' and 'Really Can't Afford It.'
The installation is about $3,000 - that's $3,000 more than I have. Plus my neighbor divulged the cost of his monthly water bill. Are you ready for this? It's $600 a month! (Mine peaks at about $90 in August.) Granted he's got a gorgeous yard, but think of the clothes you could buy with that monthly budget!
* I still want an automated sprinkler system but I wonder if we could set them to be less automated? Time them to sprinkle every 5 days vs. 2 and hit the manual override button when it's really and truly necessary.
High Plains Desert Watering - Fun Facts to Know & Tell
Q: What's the best time to water your lawn?
A: One hour after you watered the last time.
Sound crazy? Water sticks to water. Desert soil is hard-packed and baked by the sun. Most of the initial rainfall runs off the hard pack, much like it runs off pavement. (Hence the flash flooding that often occurs in Utah.) Once the soil becomes damp it acts like a sponge, soaking up the rain and holding it in the soil for many days.
Plants and lawns are 'trainable.' Heavy watering, less often, encourages deep root growth so paupers like me - who can't afford an irrigation system - don't have to water so often.