Lawn Watering

AMERICAN LAWN GUIDE

simple lawn care tips for greener healthier backyard lawns
Conserving Water On Lawns

With water restriction being applied in many different regions now, and our growing awareness of the importance in taking good care of the overall environment we all live in, water conservation is becoming increasingly important to everyone. Water conservation tips are now becoming more widely known and practised by homeowners, lawn owners and garden owners everywhere.

Conserving water on lawns is really not a difficult thing to do at all, all it takes is a small change in some of our thinking, changes in a one or two lawn care practices, and perhaps a small change in our expectations of what we can have and expect from our gardens today, when compared to perhaps 50 years ago.

Conserving Water On Lawns

The first thing we must all understand and know to be true is that watering frequently and in small amounts is just plain bad lawn care. Watering in small amounts perhaps every day or second day only creates a shallow root system for the turf. Once any sort of heat arrives, the lawn will simply struggle, wither and perhaps even die very quickly.

Water Lawns Infrequently

The very best way to water lawns is as infrequently as possible, but to water them deeply. So it's much better to water once a week with more water than to water each day with a fraction of the water.

Shallow watering will only keep the top couple of inches of soil moist, and much of this water will easily evaporate in the sun. But because the soil wetness goes no deeper, the lawn's roots cannot possibly reach deeper into the soil to be protected from this same heat.

It's like a repeating cycle we're putting into play - we keep the lawn roots shallow with shallow watering, the topsoil dries out and the lawn roots dry out and the lawn begins to wither. When we see this we quickly apply more water the next day, and so the cycle goes.

Watering deeply allows the lawns roots to follow the water down deeper into the soil below the evaporation level. Watering less often also forces the root system to keep going deeper to find it's ongoing water supply.

So the lawn develops a nice deep root system which is far more resilient to heat, and the remaining water which sits below the evaporation level stay in the soil to keep watering the lawn safely.

Repair and Maintain Sprinklers

The next most important water conservation tip is to check the entire irrigation system, walk around the entire lawn and garden checking that they are all working perfectly, and repair as necessary. ensure they are all spraying directly onto the lawn and garden and haven't become misdirected to water the garden path instead.

If a sprinkler were broken or malfunctioning then one area may be less healthy than it should be, giving us a false impression that the irrigation needs to be turned up, to use more water.

Regular checking of garden irrigation also gives us a great opportunity to check for broken pipes and valves which could be wasting vast amounts of water.

Wetting Agents

Wetting Agents are a special mix of a detergent like substance which is applied to lawns, gardens and all soils. After application they enter the soil to help water to distribute in soil at a much improved rate, help the soil to retain water for longer, and help to prevent water runoff. Wetting agents are a great addition to a water conserving lawn.

Should Lawn Be There

For areas of turf which are often under ongoing stress or really don't do well because of excessive shade or other problems, it may also be wise to ask ourselves whether lawn should remain in such badly affected areas. It may well be a garden area may be a better option for such areas, if this is true in our yards, then we can consider pulling out that poor patch of lawn and planting some water conserving plants instead.

Severe Water Restrictions

At times when severe water restrictions come into place, we all have little choice other than to conserve and use less water on the lawn and garden. Often at times this can have devastating impacts on a once lush green lawn.

Knowing that we live in a region which does become regularly affected by water restrictions may cause many of us to re-think how we use water on our lawns and perhaps change our thinking and expectations regarding our turf a little. If you live in such a region, then perhaps letting the lawn not be so lush for so long throughout the rest of the year may be an option. If we all demand a little less from out turf, and reduce its ongoing water usage, then together we may just reduce the yearly usage of all the water we use, and in turn - reduce the severity of water restrictions in the future so our lawns are not left to die at these times. A little less greener all year is certainly better than very green for 6 months and a dead lawn for the next 6 months. There are of course ways to make lawns more drought tolerant, which is worthwhile looking into also.

Water Conservation Tips

In conclusion, there are a number of ways to keep conserving water on our lawns, and they are all rather simple to achieve. We just need to be pro-active in how we use water, learn how to use it properly to get the best results, and sometimes to self control our expectations on our lawns so as to avoid ongoing and severe water restrictions.