Already I’m in trouble. It’s the first week of water restrictions in Fairfield, and my sprinklers aren’t cooperating. I had them timed to every third day, which worked out to two and one half times a week. However, the City of Fairfield has decided that we homeowners should operate our sprinklers either Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, depending on whether our home’s street address is odd or even numbered. This works out to three days a week, but leaves a watering gap for me with my address of Saturday and Sunday. We get a lot of wind this time of the year and it dries the plants out rapidly. So, by Monday, my front yard is pretty thirsty.
The problem is the sprinkler timers. It you were thinking of buying the battery-operated timers for the drought, from Home Depot, etc. think again. They can’t be calendared. I tried turning them off on Saturday and on again, but they didn’t turn at the 3:00 AM Monday schedule. The second part of the Fairfield restrictions is that the landscape be watered before noon or after six. So, rather than running the system at three AM, with no wind, I had to manually run the sprinklers and be physically present. Of course the wind was blowing. Of course the sidewalk was dampened. As I was out there, a woman drove by staring. If I have to hand water everything it will take me three hours.
Now, I absolutely am reducing water consumption. My grey water system will be finished for the back yard by the end of the month. My yards are zoned for various levels of water consumption.
However, no amount of water reduction will change local awareness of my front yard. In a neighborhood of dead lawns that have been that way since the 80’s, my yard is stuffed with vegetation. I have seven fruit trees, blueberries, and veggies mixed with perennials. This is all in a yard approximately 18’ by 20’. Plus, there are another six potted fruit trees waiting to get transferred to the back yard. The yard contains native plants and shrubs planted for the local fauna.
With my yard I can’t just keep my head down, and expect that the local water Gestapo will ignore me. I envision many tickets and the resulting time stealing court time explaining to various solons why my yard is different.
It appears that I am going to have to spring for a permitted sprinkler system. If I do it soon I will have the funds, though it is a vexation. Why a permit? Because, a calendared system requires electricity and that will require either exterior electrical wiring, or a big chunk of plumbing back to the garage.
I can’t be the only one with this problem. A few others have started fruit trees and vegetables. I saw one yard with corn last week. I feel good when I think I may have inspired at least a few folks to be more self-sufficient. However, this working class neighborhood shouldn’t be punished because it’s homes are older and therefore lack exterior outlets.
What is the solution?