How To Conserve Water in Your Lawn
Our society is increasingly concerned about water. Water is a finite natural resource that is essential to our world, and it is also vital to the lawns we enjoy with our friends and families.
People are seeking ways to keep their lawns healthy while respecting the environment and conserving water. Can a lawn be smart in how it uses water? Can it use it more efficiently? Can it live with less?
The answer is "yes." Like any plant, grass needs nutrients to thrive. Therefore a smart water conservation plan for any lawn starts with feeding. Feeding not only improves a lawn's appearance, it also strengthens and thickens the grass to help the lawn protect itself. A well-fed lawn grows deeper roots to better absorb water and nutrients. Compared to an unfed lawn, a lawn that is fed uses water more efficiently. Here are four easy tips to follow to help your grass conserve water:
- Feed Regularly. Regular feedings of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food 2-4 times per year will help build a lawn you and your family can enjoy. Regular feeding not only improves your lawn's appearance, it also provides the nutrients your lawn needs to help crowd out weeds and withstand the stresses of normal wear and tear as well as heat and drought.
- Set your lawn mower to the right height. Grass mowed at the proper height, and not scalped, develops a deeper root system to better find water and nutrients in the soil. Properly mowed grass can grow and support more roots allowing your lawn to withstand wear and tear, heat, and drought. Taller grass shades the soil keeping it cooler, plus it's softer to walk on and helps cushion falls better than short grass. Most lawns prefer your mower set to one of the highest settings, providing a 3-4 inch cut. A few warm-season grasses, common in the South, prefer to be mowed lower. Zoysia and centipede prefer a middle mower setting, while Bermuda thrives at a low setting, proving a 1½-2 inch cut.
- Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. When mowing, leave the clipping on the lawn. Grass clippings break down quickly and return beneficial nutrients to the soil. Mow often enough so too much of the grass blade isn't removed at once. Removing too much of the grass blade shocks the grass and leaves clipping piles on the lawn that also can smother grass.
- Rely on Rain. Mother Nature usually provides enough water through rainfall for grass to grow strong. If you choose to water beyond that, wait until the lawn becomes dull green in color. Your lawn will also begin to wilt when water is needed, and footprints will remain visible in a lawn that needs water. During hot, dry spells, you can let your lawn naturally turn brown and go dormant (true especially in the Northern US). Lawns are amazingly resilient and can tolerate dry conditions for up to 2 months if left alone. Grass will bounce back when rainfall and cooler temperatures return, especially if it has been well-fed.