The USDA’s recent drought monitor suggests that recent wet weather in southern and eastern California and western and northern Nevada did little if anything to offset the long-term drought people have endured. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor provided by the USDA’s National Drought Mitigation Center suggests that the rain may have helped suppress the number of wildfires that usually impact California in September and October, but did little else.
The fact is, water conservation continues to be top of mind, not just in California and Nevada, but in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and even in northwestern Montana. Parts of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana are also reeling from the drought.
In an effort to better inform the public on how they can conserve water and still maintain a healthy lawn, The Lawn Institute recently released an easy-to-understand infographic that offers a few helpful suggestions.
When you consider that most people overwater their lawns, any advice is sure to be worthwhile. For example, The Lawn Institute reports that most lawns only need about one inch, or 2.5 centimeters, of water per week, either by rainfall or in combination with irrigation. Of course, water requirements vary between different grass varieties, but one inch per week is sufficient in most cases. Water requirements also vary with seasonal changes, sun, wind, shade, soil conditions, the degree of slope, etc.
In addition to this helpful graphic The Lawn Institute also reports:
- The healthiest lawns are produced when they are watered thoroughly at infrequent intervals.
- The best times to water your lawn are early morning or early evening, when there is generally less wind and heat. Watering at these times allows for less evaporation into the air, greater penetration into the soil and less run-off.
- One-inch, or 2.5 centimeters of water per week will allow the water to reach deep into the root system. It will usually take 10-15 minutes to water your lawn thoroughly. If puddles or run-off occur, turn your sprinkler off for a few minutes to allow water to penetrate into the soil.
- If your watering system is applying water faster than it can be absorbed by the soil, you will want to adjust the amount of water applied, or the timing of the application, or both.
- Let the lawn completely dry out between watering intervals.
- Most turfgrass can tolerate dryer conditions over a reasonable period of time.
- Grass in need of water will have a grey-blue cast to it. On an adequately watered lawn, footprints will completely disappear within minutes. On a lawn in need of water, footprints will still be visible after a half-hour or more suggesting the need for irrigation.