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What is Evapotranspiration and Why is it Important?

What is Evapotranspiration?

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You may know us as your go-to landscaping guys, but just for this article, we’re going to put on another hat and be your go-to science guys. Today, we’d like to discuss a little-known concept that affects anyone with a yard, farm or anything in between: Evapotranspiration.

Evapotranspiration, or ET as we’re going to call it, is a measure that lets you know just how much water it takes for your lawn to stay green (or how much to water your crops). Basically, if a very dry region requires half an inch of water from your irrigation system every day in order to stay healthy, then its ET rate is 0.5 inches per day.

photo credit: rachio

So, what exactly affects ET? The rate at which the water in the soil evaporates is essentially what determines the ET. As you can probably guess, if an area is experiencing hot, dry climate conditions, the water would evaporate faster, thus creating a higher ET rate.

The reason we’ve decided to mention ET is because Colorado is experiencing a significantly higher ET rate than normal. You may have noticed that it has been more difficult to keep your grass green this season, and that’s no fluke. According to CSU’s Agriculture Department’s calculations, turf is sitting at an ET of 0.10. It may not seem that high, but when we’re experiencing a daily average precipitation of 0.02, it’s pretty rough.

But hey, we’re not going to dump a bunch of gloom and doom on you and then leave you high and dry (or hot and dry). So while you may be experiencing that you’re needing to water more than normal this year, here’s what you can do about this whole ET business: upgrade your irrigation system so it includes a high-powered sensor. That way, it knows just how much water your lawn needs so you don’t overwater or shortchange it.

Need any help getting your irrigation system in top condition? Give us a call at (970) 304-1183 and we’ll get you all squared away.

Another great read on ‘What is Evapotranspiration?’ can be found here.

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