The St. Johns River Water Management District lays out rules for watering landscaping.The St. Johns River Water Management District lays out rules for watering landscaping.

#AskJAXTDY | Do lawn watering rules include backyard gardens and soaker hoses?

Published on November 22, 2023 at 11:36 am

Q. Jacksonville Today newsletter reader Cecelia E. has a question regarding the water restrictions of the St. Johns River Water Management District, which the agency calls “landscape irrigation.”

“Lawn watering rules: Does this apply to watering backyard gardens or just watering lawns? “

“The term ‘landscape irrigation’ is a bit confusing,” Cecelia said, “but I read that soaker hoses are not limited, so is it just sprinklers we can only run once a week? Can y’all clarify this?”

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A. The full watering restrictions of the St. Johns River Water Management District are posted here.

The restrictions specify the time when watering may occur, based partly on the time of year and whether the address ends in an odd or even number. Watering during Eastern Standard Time — which is this time of year — is limited to one day a week.

District spokeswoman Ashley Evitt Evitt said there are exceptions for gardens. Hand watering a garden is allowed anytime — using a hand-held hose with a spray nozzle that can be adjusted. And irrigation using a micro-spray, micro-jet, drip or bubbler system is allowed anytime.

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The use of water from a reclaimed water system also is allowed anytime, as is recycled water from wet detention treatment ponds as long as it is not augmented from any ground or off-site surface water or public supply sources.

Using a soaker hose is not actually covered in the rules, but Evitt said gardeners should use them with a timer system to conserve water.

More advice for gardeners: Watering in chemicals like insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides is allowed anytime within 24 hours of application. Watering in chemicals may not exceed a quarter-inch of water per application except as otherwise required by law, the manufacturer or best management practices.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.