Happy Earth Day 2014! This is a day we like to recognize each year, as it’s so important for home owners to create a balance between a healthy lawn and landscape and over-utilizing or misuing our resources to obtain and maintain it.
Did you know that a healthy 50’x50′ lawn (2,500 square feet) can produce enough oxygen for a family of four? We were just trying to figure out how many square feet Midland would need on Facebook!
We all want a lush lawn, and in some ways need it, but let’s look at how we can have one without being wasteful.
Most Lawns Only Need 1″ of Water Each Week
You may think more water is good for your lawn, but in fact, too much water can prevent the growing process and promote disease. Also, water pooling up in or off your lawn is incredibly wasteful.
For lawns, water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots. The key to watering your grass is to apply enough water to soak down to the depth of the roots. The amount varies with soil type, but a good guide is to apply no more than one inch of water every time, which is enough to soak the soil to a depth of 6-10 inches.
You can tell if you’re over-watering (too frequently or for too long) by simply walking across your lawn. Take the “Step Test”. You should only be watering when your turf is stressed from lack of water. How can you tell? Step on it. If you leave distinct footprints or the grass doesn’t spring back, it’s time to water.
Try the “Step Test” a few times before your sprinklers come on, to see if you should be making adjustments in the frequency and duration of your watering.
You’ll want to check on this regularly as our weather changes through the spring and summer, rather than setting your sprinklers once this spring and forgetting about them. For this reason, we advise our irrigation clients to have us come by for a visit in the summer to ensure that all heads are functioning properly and that the watering schedules are appropriate for the hot months of the year.
Note: The frequency and amount you water your lawn is very situational. It depends on the soil, the slope, your orientation to the sun, the landscape, and a variety of other details. One of our Reder Landscaping professionals can help you with your unique watering needs if the simple “step test” seems a little too simple for your lawn.
Don’t Water Your Pavement
Another way to save water is by making sure your sprinkler system is not wasting any water. If your sprinklers are hitting the side of your house, the sidewalk, street or driveway, adjust them so they only hit the lawn.
Trust us…your pavers, pavement, and stone don’t need water to survive and look great!
Check Your Watering System
Do you have a “good” sprinkler and irrigation system? A good system and installation should help you conserve water, not waste it. For example, does it have a rain shut-off device to eliminate unnecessary watering.
At Reder, we proudly install Weathermatic systems. Here’s a page on their website for homeowners that asks some questions about your watering system (link). Can yours do these things and help you optimize your use of water to care of your landscape?
Clean Your Driveway… with a Broom
You could save about 60 gallons of water with each cleaning if you use a broom instead of a hose. 🙂
Mike Reder is the head of our irrigation department. He and his team are experts in watering and sprinkler systems. Give us a call and we’ll connect you to them for any questions, service, or new installation you may need to keep your lawn looking great with the least amount of water.