Everyday we are reminded that we are in a drought situation.  My last few blogs have been about this same subject, and I think it is important to continue with the topic.

A group of diverse children playing outside.

The press is convinced that ripping out your lawn is the answer.  But is it?  No.  You can  have an environmentally beneficial lawn and use water wisely! Here are some more tips on how to save water while still keeping your lawn alive during our historic drought:

  1. No irrigation system distributes water in a perfectly even pattern. Homeowners typically over-irrigate the lawn so all areas stay green. Reduce your irrigation minutes to keep most of the lawn green, then hand water the dry spots twice a week.
  2. Be willing to accept some brown color (we like to call it “golden brown!”). A lawn with some brown will require 25-30% less water than a lawn that is bright green.
  3. Set your mower high (about 3 or 3.5 inches). This safeguards the roots and increases the chances of turf survival.
  4. Spread mulch on bare areas to decrease run-off and retain irrigation water.
  5. Aerate the lawn, making it easier for water to soak into the ground.
  6. Minimize traffic on your lawn in the heat of the summer when the lawn is stressed.
  7. When the heat of the summer is over, there may be a few dead spots. Install pieces of sod or sprinkle seed in those areas.
  8. New regulations require watering lawns two days per week. Instead of one irrigation cycle, set your irrigation controller for two shorter irrigation times. Watering half in the morning and again a few hours later increases water soaking in to the plant roots and decreases run-off into the gutters or street.
  9. Long term water saving solutions include:
    • Install low-water use warm season grasses like hybrid bermuda,  paspalum, or St. Augustine, which take 25% less water for optimum color, and can survive on 50% less water than the typical fescue lawn.
    • Install a weather-based irrigation controller with a rain shut-off sensor.
    • Install low flow sprinkler heads which improve infiltration to the plant roots.
    • In lieu of overseeding, either choose to forego overseeding altogether, or try a turfgrass colorant such as our all organic “Endurant.”Your neighbors will never know!



Now this is important.  Please think about this before you rip out that lawn!  Natural turfgrass is a continuing source of oxygen and cool air. A cleansing answer to our environment. A source of beauty and comfort. Being a true environmentalist begins right under our feet –with turfgrass—the earth’s living skin.

The U.S. Congress has acknowledged these positive benefits of grass to our environment by stating that “turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, migrating the heat island effect, reducing energy consumption, and contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends.”

Your lawn benefits the environment by:

  • Producing oxygen
    • 2500 sq. ft. produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.
  • Controlling pollution
    • Traps and removes dust from the air
    • Absorbs carbon dioxide
  • Acting as nature’s air conditioner
    • On a hot summer day, lawns will be up to 30 degrees cooler than asphalt, and up to 14 degrees cooler than bare soil.
    • The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That’s amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three to four ton capacity.
    • The cooling effect of natural turfgrass reduces the amount of fuel that must be burned to provide the electricity which powers the air conditioners.
  • Providing a natural filter
    • Turfgrass acts as a natural filter, reducing pollution by purifying the water passing through its rootzone.

And also, turfgrass adds beauty to our lives while helping with our physical and mental health. Did you know that research has shown that people recover faster in a hospital when given a lawn and landscape view? It’s true!

With the benefits of turfgrass working their wonders for us, we will be able to share a beautiful and healthy planet with our future generations! Please water wisely!

If you have any questions on water use and your lawn, please feel free to hit the “Ask Jay” button at the top right of this page, and I will be happy to help.