Know how to manage your microclimates

by | Mar 14, 2022 | The Drip

In Florida, we all understand the importance of irrigation in creating a great landscape experience. We are entering what we call “dry season” as temperatures begin to rise and stabilize, but our rainfall historically slows. If your irrigation isn’t operating or optimized properly, very soon you will begin to see large dry patches.

Within every landscape are microclimates. Simply put, microclimates are localized areas which experience different temperatures, precipitation, and wind protection from the overall landscape. They are produced by structures (in between homes), topography (hills, berms and even low spots in your yard) and plants (such as large trees).

Microclimates can be intentionally made, but most arise over time as properties develop and the landscape matures. Most irrigation systems are designed for the greater landscape needs so the systems are rarely adjusted for microclimates as they appear. Here are a few things your team at Mainscape can do to optimize irrigation, reduce waste and produce healthy landscapes:

  • Utilize “cycle and soak” (learn more here)
  • Correct areas of insufficient irrigation (also called “distribution uniformity”)
  • Reconfigure zones in microclimates by
    • Breaking up zones into smaller zones
    • Re-nozzle spray heads to increase/decrease application rates
    • Utilize water migration on sloped landscapes
    • Improve landscape plants or turf for specific microclimates

If you want to learn more for your own home, we recommend consulting with a local University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) extension agent or visit the IFAS website. We welcome commercial, hospitality and homeowners’ associations to have a conversation with us about managing water application on your property. To fully understand your landscape’s needs and generate a plan to correct any insufficiencies, we recommend an irrigation audit. Contact our knowledgeable team today.