Reduce Your Water Usage and Save Money This Summer by Using These Lawn and Landscape Watering Tips
It’s hot outside. And yet, your municipality has put restrictions that curbs how often you water your lawn and landscaped areas.
Conversely, you may wonder how to conserve water this summer and still have a healthy, dense lawn.
Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure that your turf and flowerbeds look healthy and full of color while practicing water conservation at the same time.
How to Save Water Outside Starts with You
If you want to save water and money, then water conservation starts with you.
How you ask?
Simply put, here are nine tips to help you reduce your outdoor water usage:1. Understand your property’s micro-climates – While your region has a particular climate and growing zone, your property also has many micro-climates.
For example, full sun means that area will be hotter and drier. Sloped areas have more wind. And shady spots have less light and air circulating. Plus, shaded areas are cooler than a sunny lawn with no shade.
2. Plant your landscaped beds by hydro-zones (based on your plants’ water needs) – Plants have different watering needs. For example, succulents need less water than impatiens. Native plants that naturally grow in your area are more drought-tolerant and need less moisture than non-native ones.
3. Plant the right turfgrass in the right spot for your lawn – Lawn grass has been developed for two climates: warmer and cooler areas. Cool season turfgrass grows best when temperatures are 60ºF - 75ºF, and they grow in the northern part of the U.S. and Canada.
Meanwhile, warm season grasses grow well when temperatures reach 75ºF to 90ºF. These grasses thrive in the southern part of the U.S., including south Virginia to Florida and westward to Texas.
Folks who live in temperate areas—the belt between the northern and southern states can have both cool and warm season grasses in their yards.
When temperatures get close to the 90ºF mark, cool season grasses will go dormant, and when temperatures start dipping below 70º, warm season grasses go into dormancy.
So, you want to plant warm season grasses in southern lawns and cool season turf in northern yards. The temperate regions can be tricky. Typically, homeowners in those states will plant warm season grass in sunny areas and cool season grass in shady areas.
Folks need to know what type of warm season grass does well in their region. For example, Bermudagrass does well in southern lawns because it’s heat- and drought-tolerant.
Homeowners can plant tall fescue as far south as northern Georgia and South Carolina, but it should be planted in the shade. However, tall fescue can tolerate more sun in northern lawns.
4. Develop your soil to hold water longer – Home lawns consist of sandy, loamy, or clay soils. Water quickly drains through sandy soils. Loamy soil is the best because it can hold onto moisture.
Clay soil holds water well, but it gets easily compacted and won’t let turf roots grow down deep. Plus, water tends to pond on clay soils during heavy rains.
Get loamy soil by aerating and overseeding it (springtime for warm season lawns and fall for cool season lawns). Add top dressing and compost to keep the soil porous and allowing water to percolate through it.
5. Ditch the annuals and put in perennials instead – Annuals need a lot of water to survive. Instead, plant perennials that last for years and develop deep root systems in the soil. You save money at the nursery and on your water bills.
6. Use native plants as much as possible – Again, native flowers, trees, and shrubs are drought-tolerant and grow well in your region. They use less water and will last for years bringing pollinators to your yard.
7. Apply mulch to your landscaped areas – Keep moisture in the earth and regulate soil temperature with mulching your landscaped areas.
8. Use lawn fertilizer based on your turfgrass needs – If you don’t know what type of fertilizer to buy, you can get expert answers at AskExtension.
Warm season grasses need fertilization during the summer. However, use caution with cool season grasses. Over-fertilizing during the summer can cause your turf to burn and possibly kill it.
9. Watch your lawn mowing practices – Mowing your grass using smart techniques assures that it’ll survive extreme temperatures and drought. You should always mow with sharp blades, don’t mow during the hottest part of the day, and don’t scalp your lawn.
You can read more mowing tips at LoveYourLandscape.org.
Conserve Water with a Lawn Irrigation System and Driplines
You will need to water your lawn and landscape during the summer. And you probably know that turfgrass needs about 1”- 2” of water per week, including any rainwater.
Plus, you need to water infrequently rather than a general sprinkle every day. Experts recommend watering in the wee hours of the morning too. But what happens when you don’t want to get up before 7 a.m.?
How about investing in an in-ground irrigation system?
Today’s outdoor sprinkler systems come with Bluetooth technology and apps that allow you to turn on and off your sprinklers, no matter if you’re at the office or home. Plus, you can schedule early morning watering the night before.
Today’s sprinkler systems come with moisture and freeze sensors that turn off the irrigation system as soon as enough water is in the ground or temperatures drop down to 32ºF.
While you’ll invest upfront, you’ll notice lower water bills the longer you have your in-ground sprinkler system.
Drip irrigation and bubblers work well in gardens, flowerbeds, around trees, and under shrubs. They emit large water droplets right at the roots where the water needs to go.
At K-Rain, we provide irrigation systems, tree bubblers, and dripline systems to help you conserve water and still maintain a beautiful property.
You can find a sample irrigation system design on our website. If you’re new to outdoor sprinkler systems, you can find a contractor for designing and installing your K-Rain irrigation system.
You can also buy your K-Rain sprinkler system parts at our online store or your favorite big-box retailer. If you have any questions about your K-Rain outdoor lawn sprinkler, call our customer service at 800-735-7246 or fill out our contact form.