Only YOU Can Save Water – Here’s How!
It’s no surprise that lawns require a good drink every so often, and many of us soak our grass without even considering wastage. Caring for your grass doesn’t have to be wasteful, but you have to manage your inputs right. Thankfully, there are environmentally friendly ways of maintaining a lush, beautiful lawn while prioritizing water conservation:
Grow Healthy Roots
Deeper and stronger roots are more efficient at finding water and nutrients, and doing everything to encourage this growth is an essential method of water conservation. Make sure your new sod or seed is being laid on nutrient-rich soil to coax deep rooting. Ensure your roots have enough phosphorus, which stimulates growth and healthy rooting. Also ensure your new installation has enough moisture to help roots establish.
When mowing your lawn, operate it at a higher setting so that it produces a 3-3.5 inch cut. This method of leaving a little length will better shade soil, keeping it cooler and allowing roots to retain more moisture.
Don’t Touch Those Grass Clippings
It might be tempting to swoop in and remove those lawn clippings, but stop! Leaving them to decompose will allow for nutrients to recycle themselves back into the soil and grass roots. It’s a great way to produce a healthy, vibrant lawn that requires less watering. Be sure to mow frequently though, as removing too much grass blade length could shock your lawn and smother it with too thick a layer of clippings, counteracting the potential benefits.
Water In The Early Morning
This is an age-old trick that applies to modern landscaping with equal effectiveness: rise with the sun and water early. This will allow for minimal evaporation and maximum root absorption. Avoid watering during the day at all costs, as it will provide little benefit due to evaporation. Watering during the evenings is also a possibility, but it isn’t widely encouraged as the soil may remain moist after sunset. This added moisture could result in fungal growth, so always water in the morning before it gets hot.
Think Before You Offer a Drink
Step back and give your lawn a good look. Has it been raining often, or is there rainfall in the forecast this week? Does the grass look healthy and vibrant? Also, does the soil feel crumbly and dried-out, or soft and/or relatively moist? If your lawn appears content with a day or two without a drink, it could be more beneficial to roll up the hose and perform a daily inspection to see how thirsty your grass is.
Invest In Drought-Tolerant Grasses
Easy to care for and far less demanding than other grass species, TWCA qualified products such as Manderley Less Water Sod are ideal for those seeking to minimize their environmental impact through water conservation. It reduces typical watering by up to 50 percent, stays green longer, is very durable and tolerant of high traffic, and can even be used to help achieve LEED credits. In fact, you’ll hardly need to water it at all as long as there is sufficient rain and you’re keeping an eye on your own maintenance habits.
While the adage that an average lawn needs 1” of irrigation every week, including rainfall, is a helpful guideline, it is by no means an exact science. The best way to ensure your lawn thrives is to monitor it and your maintenance habits. With these water conservation methods and drought-tolerant sod, however, you can encourage a verdant, rich patch of greenery that is also more environmentally friendly.