Thursday, 24 March 2016

Caring for Your Lawn when You Face Water Scarcity

Owning a lush green lawn can be your pride and joy; but its maintenance, the other side of the coin, is a demanding task by itself. It is accentuated even more, if your State is water-starved and has laid down mandatory regulations on the use of water for gardening.

No need to worry at all! Here are a few simple measures to help you preserve your pride and joy, and at the same time, conform to State regulations.

Minimize manuring

In water-starved conditions, you can use less fertilizer to minimize water consumption and nutrient stress of your plants. Add instead, humus-rich compost to make the soil naturally healthy. Experts suggest carrying out the manuring process during fall.

Mow light

In dry weather conditions, cut at a height that would not weaken the grass. Do not clear away the clippings. Let them fall on the ground, and act as mulch to slow down water evaporation from the soil surface. Ensure leaving the clippings small to maintain good air flow and not choke the lawn grass.

Aerate in spring or fall

Aeration minimizes soil compacting. Through good aeration, you open up tiny holes in the ground that allow air, water and nutrients to seep deep into the ground; it helps develop a healthy root system.

Fall is the best time to aerate your lawn, if you had given it a miss in spring. It is best to aerate when the soil is moist enough to open up, say, a day after a rain shower or after you have watered your lawn.

Water in cycles

It is best to irrigate your lawn early mornings before 9 am, or late evenings, to save on water lost due to evaporation from heat. Water the lawn deeply and infrequently to mimic natural rainfall. Usually, a lawn requires about one inch of water once in seven days, applied best in one or two cycles.

Many grasses, during hot spells brown out but do not die. They will revive back to life once they get water. Kentucky bluegrass and fescue, for instance, will go brown without water, but they can survive waterless conditions for about a month.

For efficient watering, consider an automatic irrigation system that would irrigate only the turf and not the hardscape around. Setting a timer is another good idea to water accurately down to the last minute.

If you possess older irrigation systems, it would be a good idea to get them tested by a professional irrigation company; those systems need to be checked for leaks and proper functioning of back flow prevention valves.

Consider lawn substitutes: artificial turf

If your community imposes restrictions on the use of water, or you live in a severely drought-stricken area, it would be wise to go in for lawn substitutes. Consider artificial turf that looks as good as real grass and provides interesting texture. Look out for the grass that grows near your community, and go in for either dark green or light green, to sync with your neighborhood. You can even pick the color of the under layer.

Well, what do you get now? A galore of advantages: you save water, no reseeding worries, no fertilizer seep-off, and you bid farewell to whining gas mowers. There is no sacrifice on aesthetics and you might get monetary benefits too, if there is a State allowance.

The best part of the deal is you get a patch of green for your kids to freely run about, and for a round of lawn games. Bask in the gentle breeze of your garden, and indulge yourself in the soothing tranquility all around!

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