Most of us grew up during a time when watering the lawn an ordinary part of a typical summer week. Recent drought conditions in California, Texas and other regions of the United States, however, are changing how we view the water supply and forcing us to be more aware of the need to conserve and protect it. These tips from Mopfrog of Danbury will help you make a real contribution to water conservation efforts, no matter where you live.
Insuring Against Drought, From the Ground Up
If you are currently landscaping a new home or making changes in your current lawn or garden, take the opportunity to build in drought resistance from the ground up. Begin by choosing to seed your lawn with a variety of grass that can withstand dry weather, such as:
- St. Augustine
- Or other varieties native to your area
Remember to consider your region and climate before making your final selection and, if you are living in a drought-restricted area, consult with your local water department to see if there are any ordinances concerning the choice of grass seed, due to drought conditions.
The Benefits of Mulch
Mulching is one of the best ways to keep soil moisture levels healthy around each plant, tree and bush in your lawn or garden. Place a 2” to 4” inch layer of organic mulch around the entire drip line of plants, trees and bushes. To get maximum benefit from the mulching process, leave the outer edges of the mulch elevated and depress the interior of the circle, sloping down toward the tree. This will ensure that any rain or irrigated water can be utilized by the growing plant or tree, instead of flowing away from the plant.
Conserving Water With Good Watering Practices
Pay careful attention to how and when you water your lawn and garden to avoid waste and ensure that maximum moisture is available to the plants by:
- Checking the placement of sprinklers and ensuring that the water is making contact with the actual landscaping and not the gutter, driveway or sidewalk
- Deep-soaking gardens and landscaped areas only when needed (in most cases, placing an empty tuna can on the lawn and watering until the can is filled is a good way to tell when to stop watering)
- Not watering during high winds or during the hottest part of the day when the heat and air movement will prevent water from actually benefiting the plants
- Building soil health by adding organic materials to the soil to improve its ability to hold moisture
- Grouping plants with similar water needs together, to make watering them easier and more efficient
Before turning on the sprinkler, remember to check grass to see if it actually needs to be watered. Healthy, hydrated grass will spring back quickly after being walked on. However, if you step on the grassy areas of your lawn and the grass remains flattened after you lift your foot, your grass is telling you it is time for a refreshing drink of water.
Making the effort to conserve water usage in your landscaping can inspire others in your area to do the same.