Not all lawns are created equal

Sep 17, 2015, 10:53 AM
North Texas temperatures are on the rise, and residents are eager to keep their lawns lush throughout the summer. But before you turn on that spigot or run your sprinklers, do you know how much to water?

“Lawns don’t always need the amount of water they are getting,” said Mark Olson, TRWD’s conservation and creative manager. “The average homeowner waters their lawn 2-3 times more than it needs based on climate conditions. Following the Lawn Whisperers advice in 2014, you could have kept your watering system off for more than half of the year.”

With rainfall in 2015 already surpassing annual amounts, residents should be especially aware of overwatering.

Olson and The Lawn Whisperer work side-by-side, sharing water conservation advice to the public via Facebook and through The Lawn Whisperer encourages people to “stretch their lawns” and know when enough is enough.

“You can prepare your lawn for those dry conditions,” said Olson. “Watering two days per week or less will allow your grass to grow deeper roots because that is where the moisture is, and you won’t need to water it every day, conditioning your lawn to become more drought tolerant.”

Olson said that following the Lawn’s Whisperers watering advice, which is updated every Monday, could save millions of gallons of water per day.

“If you have $10 in your pocket, and you were trying to budget your money, you wouldn’t just roll down the car window and throw it out the window,” he said “Why would you manage water any differently? Water is money. It’s a finite resource.

“We are not going to experience conditions like we experienced in the spring of 2015 for the duration of our lives. We live in Texas, and droughts are a part of life. No one knows when the next drought is going to come, but we all know there will be another one.”

Another reason to save water is population, which continues to increase steadily each year.

“We want to be able to provide security and reliability to meet customer demands without being wasteful,” said Olson. “Most people don’t know how much water they need to put out there. Spray heads get a lot of water out there fast and people don’t realize that.”

Lawn Whisperer Tips:
Here are some suggestions for setting your irrigation system to provide 0.25 inches (Double the number of cycles for 0.50 inches):
Spray head zones: Two 6-minute cycles
Rotor zones: Two 12-minute cycles
Multi-stream zones: One 25-minute cycle

Does my lawn need water?
Screwdriver Test: Try pushing a screwdriver in the ground. If you can’t push it more than a couple of inches without resistance, your lawn is too dry.
Footsteps Test: If you walk across your lawn and it’s not bouncing back right away or if it’s leaving impressions of your footsteps, it’s probably time to water.

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