5 Ways to Care for Your Lawn and Save Water at the Same Time

Keep grass healthy and hydrated with these environmentally-friendly tips.

Jun 20, 2018

Summertime is finally here and with it come the hot, sunny days. The summer heat can take a toll on turf, but you can keep your lawn looking as green as a fairway with the right care while still conserving water.

1. Mow at the right height

Taller grass shades soil, reducing water evaporation and keeping grass hydrated longer. This also allows grass to grow deeper roots and prevents weeds from growing. Adjust the mower height so that grass grows taller. The ideal height varies with each type of grass, but generally, you should never remove more than a third of the blade. At the same time, make sure grass doesn’t get too long as this will stunt growth and cause weeds to grow.

2. Plant grasses native to your climate

Plants grow the best in their natural climates, adapting to seasonal temperature changes and better withstanding local weeds, pests, and diseases. Choose grasses native to your region, and sow seeds in the early spring so that they grow by summertime.

3. Avoid chemical lawn fertilizer

Chemical lawn fertilizer leads to grass needing more water. Heavy fertilizer typically used by many lawn care services causes grass to flourish faster than usual requiring more moisture to accommodate growth. Often, your lawn will not need fertilizer at all. Check the pH levels of the soil to make sure. The ideal soil pH for lawn grasses is 6.5 and just slightly acidic. If the soil requires some fertilization, opt for organic alternatives such as animal manure or homemade remedies such as a mixture of soda and beer.

4. Aerate the lawn during the springtime

Aeration helps grass retain water. Bare spots in the lawn, especially in high traffic areas where people walk often, indicate the need for aeration. In small yards, you can poke holes in the lawn every few inches with a garden fork or manual sod-coring tool. With larger lawns, you can rent a power lawn aerator. Make sure not to aerify right after a spring shower when the soil is too wet. You can also aerate in the fall to keep your lawn healthy.

5. Don’t water too little or too much

Each variety of grass requires different amounts of water. How much you water also depends on the type of soil and climate where you live. Make sure to check the type of soil and grass to find out how much water your lawn needs to keep it healthy without wasting water. Generally, it’s better to water your lawn deeply and infrequently, and grass needs about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. You can check the moisture penetration using a screwdriver or similar object.

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.

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