Jul 19, 2007

Save Some Water for the Fishes

From my local water website:

Water is the element that sustains life on earth. All living things on earth need water to stay alive. Clean sources of water are a valuable commodity and we are grateful to have a good source of water to supply our needs. However, we should consider how we use the water we have. Are we careful to use water only when needed or do we let the water run down the sink drain for no good reason?

The area in which we live is arid, high country desert. We receive less than sixteen inches of precipitation annually. A lawn and landscape requires a lot of maintenance and the most important part of that care is properly watering the lawn.

The first few warm days of summer does not automatically mean that it is time to water lawns. In fact, allowing lawns to start to undergo mild drought stress actually increases rooting. Watch for foot printing, or footprints remaining on the lawn after walking across it (instead of leaf blades bouncing back up). Grasses also tend to turn darker in color as they go under drought stress.

Proper watering of lawns and landscapes can improve the quality of your lawns and in the process save you money by conserving water use. The following ideas can be used to help you and your families conserve water during the year (items are not listed in any particular priority):

Second in a series on water conservation:
Lawn Care, part 2

14. Divide your watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption every time you water.

15. Place an empty tuna can on your lawn to catch and measure the water output of your sprinklers. For lawn watering advice, contact your local conservation office.

16. Buy a rain gauge to track how much rain or irrigation your yard receives. Your lawn only needs one to one and a half inches (1"-1 ½”) of water per week.

17. Water your lawn once every three days.

18. Only water your lawn when needed. You can tell this by simply walking across your lawn. If you leave footprints, it's time to water.

19. Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root systems and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.

20. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

21. When watering grass on steep slopes, use a soaker hose to prevent wasteful runoff.

22. Water only as rapidly as the soil can absorb the water.

23. Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.


Scribbit said...

I've have wanted to get my lawn aerated for years and wouldn't you know there's only ONE person in the city who does it. I used to see it done all over the place when we lived in Utah, why doesn't anyone here seem to do it?

Mike said...

I'm reading your lawn care series. Everybody -- including my 4-year old -- knows I need to.

"Daddy, you're a good gardener," he once said. "You made the grass brown."


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