Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
How can I conserve water and still have a nice lawn?
Rate This FAQ
Despite what the snow-covered peaks might indicate, we do not have as much water as those who live in most other states. Without supplemental water, many of our non native plants and turf grasses would dry up and die.
In water short years, here are some tips for conservation:
* Automated sprinkler systems make watering convenient for most gardeners. Once we figure out the electronic puzzle, we can become Mother Nature, controlling the elements within our own realm. What we sometimes forget is that we are not as wise as Mother Nature so we neglect checking the watering system to make sure it is in harmony with our plants. Few plants, other than water lilies and a few bog plants, actually enjoy being watered every day.
* Contrary to popular belief, grass is not a bog plant. Grass actually does best with extended periods between watering. Many lawns in our area are still flood irrigated once a week, and they look great.
* It is true that when a lawn is first established and the roots are shallow, it needs constant attention and moisture. However, as the grass begins to grow the roots stretch further into the soil, eventually reaching depths of more than 10 inches. Sometimes plants have to be trained to grow deeper roots by slowly extending the period of time between watering from one day to two, and then three, etc. Roots develop wherever they find water and nutrients. Watering every day doesn't encourage the roots to stretch and grow because the water is always available right at the surface. Then, if the water is cut off for a day, the plants begin showing signs of drying. Unfortunately our first response is to turn on the hose and try to revive what we think is dying grass.
* The best response is to let the lawn struggle a little to grow. The best time to do this is in the spring. As the weather warms, instead of increasing the frequency of watering, increase the amount of water applied when watering. The grass will not die, but will become healthier as the roots extend into the soil.
* and die if not watered on a constant basis. Lawns in sandy soil can still go three or four days between watering, but the roots need to be trained to adapt. There are lawns in sandy soil that are flood irrigated once every week and they look great. It just depends on how well you train the lawn.
* After watering once, go out and check to determine how deeply the water is penetrating. Grab a long screw driver and push it into the lawn. It will easily slide through wet soil, but will stop and become difficult to push once it hits dry ground. Mark this spot on the screw driver with your finger and pull it out. Measure the depth it extended into the soil. This indicates the level water is penetrating the soil.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- What Are Those Large Round Fungus Balls That Appeared In My Lawn Last Summer?
- Our grass is dying and we suspect a worm/grub problem since we have seen some yellowish worms come up when we have raked the thatch layer. When is the best time to treat to kill the worms? What is best to kill them if we don't know exactly what species they are? How long after treatment can we prepare and plant new grass seed?
- I am buying a new house in Salt Lake County, and the entire back yard is weeds. I want to put in a garden towards the back and fill in the rest with grass. What is the best way to kill the weeds completely, without killing the new grass and affecting the garden?
- Is it workable to grow scrub oak from acorns, and if so, I'd appreciate direction. I live near Foothill Drive in SLC.
- Last May I planted an eight foot Sub-Alpine Fir in my new yard. My soil is very sandy. We deep watered the tree once a week throughout the hot season. The tree never showed any sign of stress until now (March). The ends of the branches are turning brown. I know these trees are sensitive. What can I do to best ensure the tree survives?
- I wanted to ask your opinion on fertilizing my lawn. I have so many weeds this year that I don't know what to do. The lawn is currently being fertilized by a company that comes out every 2-3 months. I started using them at the end last summer but maybe I selected the wrong company. Could you give me a recommendation on what to do to cut down on the weeds? Should I switch to a different company or do you recommend fertilizing myself? Thanks, Ryan
- I have 2 cottonless cottonwoods in my back yard. They are both about 7 years old. I noticed this spring that the trees have really grown tall but on the main limbs in the middle of the trees there are no limbs coming from them. I also find little pieces of new branches all over my lawn like they have come off right at the base where they connect to the tree. There are also at those points little scabs of some kind right where the branch has broken off. What is wrong and can I save these trees? I grew this kind of tree because they are fast growing trees and I wanted to enjoy some shade while I was still around to enjoy it. I am so afraid that there is something seriously wrong and those years will be lost. Can you help me with the info I have given you? I would appreciate it so much if you have an idea of what is wrong and what I can do to fix it.
- Do you have tips for safely removing snow from sidewalks and driveways?