With California and the Bay Area mired in yet another year of record drought, we are being asked to voluntarily reduce water consumption by at least 20-25% – and mandatory cutbacks have started in some areas.
About 40% of the average household’s water consumption is outdoors for lawns and landscaping. And the sad fact is most of us homeowners have no idea how much or how often we should be watering our lawns, if at all, during the drought.
The prudent thing to do, of course, is to let the lawn go. If it’s been cared for properly, it will come back in a few weeks once the drought ends or that might be a good time to re-landscape the area to conserve for future droughts.
But what if you are thinking about selling your home soon or there is some other reason your lawn’s health matters? Knowing how much water a lawn needs and the best way to water it will still result in quite a drop in water consumption.
Scotts has a good guide for properly watering your lawn available here. The key points from the article:
- Frequent, light watering sets your lawn up for trouble in hot weather and droughts because it promotes short root growth so the lawn browns faster
- You want deep, infrequent watering that encourage a deeper root zone
- An inch a week is a good rule of thumb during hot weather – ideally twice a week at a half-inch
- Early in the morning is the best time to water – less wind, less sun and the lawn gets a chance to dry out reducing mildew and fungus
- Use a rain gauge to measure how much water your lawn is getting to fine tune your watering times. They are cheap and available at most hardware stores
Finally, feed regularly, mow high and overseed with a more drought tolerant grass seed. These tips should help you use the minimal amount of water to keep your lawn alive. Let us know if you have any other tips, ideas or thoughts.