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How to Deal with Water Shortages!

July 19, 2013

“Water Shortages Conserve Water!” is not a phrase I wanted to hear as this Summer season began.  Sure, I enjoy conserving water just as much as the next person, but it has been really depressing watching my once lush, green lawn begin to yellow and die under the rays of triple digit heat.

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Due to low water yielding winter and spring seasons, many residents in northern Davis County, Utah are under mandatory and voluntary water restrictions. As Spring transitioned to Summer, these signs began to populate the local landscape.  Residents are restricted to watering each zone up to 30 minutes twice a week.  Are you experiencing this in your area too?

So, how do you keep your grass alive during conditions of drought and water restriction?  To keep with the spirit of Smart Irrigation Month, here are a few practices that will help your turf through tough some times.

  • Employ interval watering techniques
  • Use spot watering methods

Interval Watering

Interval watering is a great technique used to make your water stretch.  We may think it is wise to water our lawns as long as possible.  However, the soil can only absorb so much at a given time.  For example, “Clay can absorb 0.1 inches per hour” (clay intake rate).  Breaking a 30 minute watering cycle into two 15 minute watering cycles, one hour apart, will allow the soil to absorb more water.

Spot Watering

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If secondary water is under restriction, you may be able to save areas or ‘spots’ in your yard by running culinary water through hose-end sprinklers.  These can be helpful to water specific areas of struggling turf.  You can even automate the process by using a manual or automatic timer.  However, remember that culinary water is drinking water so be careful not to over-use.

Conclusion

When faced with water shortages and restrictions, watering times may be cut back.  As your turf begins to suffer, weeds see it as an opportunity to move in.  To help get your grass back on track determine your soil type and implement interval and spot watering.  Follow these techniques and you will have a better chance of keeping your grass green.

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