Lawns are water guzzlers, requiring about an inch of water per week during the growing season to remain green and vibrant. Many arid regions of the nation don't get anywhere near that much average rainfall and many municipalities have restrictions on how much you can apply. To conserve water and get the best results for your lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs, remember these tips. Together, they can reduce lawn watering by 75% to 100%.
1. Water in the morning so that the surface of the lawn and garden dries off during the day. And DON'T WATER THE SIDEWALK!!!!
2. Water deeply and infrequently so the roots of the plants learn to grow down into the soil to get the water they need.
3. Use a timer, if you're in a rush in the morning, to automatically shut-off the sprinkler. New-age "evapotranspiration" monitors can communicate with local weather bureaus and tell your sprinkler system when to turn on.
4. Use organic fertilizers and soil amendments such as leaf mulch or compost to increase the soil's water-holding capacity, allowing the lawn and garden to stay greener longer.
5. Choose the right plant for the right place. There is a big difference in California between a Sacramento or Fresno summer and one in Eureka, for example. You can't go wrong with most of the Fescues, which are fairly durable and heat tolerant. And finally, consider buying a mulching lawn mower. Grass clippings can provide most of the nutrients needed by a lawn if the clippings are small enough to decompose quickly without forming mats on top of the living grass.