With heat waves making the first half of 2012 the warmest in history it can become difficult to keep grass and lawns properly hydrated and healthy. However, many people overdue it by constantly running sprinklers and lawn systems when they aren’t always necessary. Water usage is generally increased during the summer, and this puts a strain on groundwater that sustains local streams and ecosystems. Conserving water will help protect the environment, save energy and money, and keep lawns healthy.
Consider using rubber mulch for landscaping wherever possible, whether between plants and shrubs or around trees. The rubber mulch helps the soil retain water and provides cool relief from the sun, reducing the amount of water that evaporates. Mulch also offers an aesthetic appeal to any garden, with a variety of colors that don’t fade with time.
When using your sprinklers, don’t waste water; point the water to the grass rather than the sidewalk or driveway, which also make it hard for people to walk by. Don’t assume that if it’s hot your lawn needs water. A good way to test is to step on a patch of grass. If it springs back when you pick up your foot it doesn’t need water just yet. Another way to economize on water is to let the rain do its job. The lawn only needs about one inch of water per week to stay green, whether from rain or other means. If the rainfall for the week is expected to reach an inch you don’t need to supplement with sprinklers.
Mowing your lawn regularly and removing less than a third of the grass after mowing will keep the grass looking fresh, and will help with its irrigation. Taller grass shades the roots and slows evaporation.
A good way to preserve water is by setting up a rain barrel that collects rain water, to be used for irrigating plants and grass. It’s also important to ensure that garden hoses are tightly connected to the spigot, without leakage. You can ensure that the connection is firmly in place by using pipe tape and a wrench.
Conserving water this summer will help protect the environment, and in the long run can help your lawn look green and healthy. Be sure to use rubber mulch when gardening for optimum results.