Most business owners are mindful of maintaining healthy lawns to promote a better image, but like everyone else, they’re eager to be good citizens and conserve water. Fortunately, the more healthy your lawn is, the less water it should need. Here are five reasons why.
1. Healthy lawns have deep roots and need less water.
The tendency to water frequently but lightly is hard for many of us to resist. But deeper, less frequent watering, starting at the beginning of spring, will help grass put down deeper roots so it can better survive hot, dry summers.
One of the best ways to ensure your lawn gets deeper, less frequent watering is to install an irrigation system. A timed irrigation system will allow you to program how often you want to water and how much water you want to use. There’s less temptation to water erratically, which usually means watering too often, and at a shallow depth so that the roots start to grow along the surface.
2. Drought-tolerant lawns will look better during dry times while requiring less water.
It’s just common sense that if you plant a drought-tolerant grass when the dry times come — and they will — you won’t need to water as much to keep your lawn in prime condition. Species are available that look good and stay green for longer periods with little water. Talk to your local horticultural extension agent about the best grass for your property.
3. Common-sense watering practices promote a healthy lawn.
The key to a healthy lawn is not to water too much or too little, which means adjusting water levels as the summer gets hotter and drier. Some other tips to conserve water while maintaining an attractive lawn:
- Watering during the cooler morning hours will prevent moisture from evaporating during the heat of the day. And while the common belief that watering in the midday sun will scorch the lawn is not true, it’s pretty wasteful.
- Watering at night won’t waste as much water to evaporation, but will increase the chances of your lawn developing fungus or other diseases.
- Watering on windy days allows moisture to blow away.
- Adjust sprinklers so you’re watering only the green stuff on the property, not the concrete.
4. An overwatered lawn is prone to developing diseases.
Less is generally more when it comes to maintaining good lawn health. If you see some dry or yellow patches, don’t overwater the entire lawn to try to cure them. Overwatering wastes water, and can also lead to shallow roots, fungus and other grass diseases.
5. An over-fertilized lawn may need more water.
Fertilizer is necessary for lawns, but over fertilizing can lead to salt buildup in the soil that will damage the grass and make it look unhealthy. You may have to water more to flush away the salts. Use fertilizer judiciously — in most cases, you will need far less than the manufacturer recommends. Don’t fertilize too often: once in the spring, then a month later, then every six to eight weeks until fall should be enough.
Business owners can be models for their neighborhoods by conserving water while maintaining healthy lawns. Contact Countryside Industries to learn more about healthy lawns in the Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin region.