It’s no news that Californians are challenged by what the USDA categorizes as a severe drought. In fact, the United States Drought Monitor classifies the current drought in California as exceptional and extreme with the severity of the problem extending well into the state of Nevada and southeast Oregon. And it’s not just the West Coast that’s feeling the lack of precipitation, parts of central Texas and Oklahoma are dealing with drought issues as well.
During such challenging times, especially when watering restrictions come into play, the importance of educating the general public and key decision makers about water conservation and the proper care of turfgrass is crucial. It is also important to provide them with a basic yet easy to understand overview of turfgrass, the importance of soil composition, roots, fertilization, the consequences of soil compaction and the importance of dethatching and aeration.
The demand for water will continue to increase, water costs are likely to escalate and whether drought conditions continue or not, water districts, landscape architects, sports field supervisors, municipalities, landscapers, school districts, city council members, golf course superintendents and homeowners need to be informed.
An informative booklet “Managing Turfgrasses during Drought,” published by the University of California’s division of agriculture and natural resources, provides information that will prove beneficial to a broad audience, including public and private turfgrass and landscape mangers and the aforementioned decision makers.
Dr. Ali Harivandi, environmental horticulturist emeritus, University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension, along with Dr. James Baird, turfgrass specialist, and other UC Cooperative Extension advisors, drafted the peer reviewed publication. The booklet, written several years ago in anticipation of a drought in California, couldn’t be more timely than it is now.
Harivandi stated that many of his clients have already commented about how useful the information was, and he was pleased to hear the booklet has been helpful in educating the public about the value of turfgrasses and water conservation.
“I do believe that the two can coexist, if the public is informed and educated,” Harivandi says.
“Managing Turfgrasses during Drought” is a free UC publication. Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) and The Lawn Institute encourage anyone involved in the care and maintenance of turfgrass to get a copy of this informative publication and share it with your business associates, employees, educators and customers.
Harivandi points out that the publication does not endorse any specific product, company or manufacturer, and encourages its distribution. He is grateful to those people and companies who are using the publication and taking an active role in “spreading the word.”