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Loving Your Little Landscape

I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.

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Loving Your Little Landscape

Minimizing Lawn Water Use

by Charlotte White

In drought-stricken areas, watering your lawn is a complete no-no. Even if you live in an area that is not currently hard pressed for water, you should be mindful of your water usage, particularly when it comes to watering your lawn. During a drought or the hot dry summer months, you have several options for lawn care: Keeping it green or letting it go dormant.

Dormant

During times of extreme heat and/or little rainfall, keeping your water green can take a significant amount of water. Instead of using all of that water, you can choose to let your lawn go dormant, which simply means that you stop watering it and watch it go brown. Although your lawn will look dead, it won't be. The root system stays alive, but the blades of grass will be dry, brittle, and not pretty. For some people, allowing the lawn to be brown will be a struggle. If you choose to go this route, you have to commit to it. Experts warn that bringing your lawn in and out of dormancy is bad for your grass and can impede its natural growth. Also, some grass cannot safely go without any water for more than six weeks, so check the needs for your lawn's grass type. You will be helping out the environment with this choice, but you may suffer from neighborhood disapproval. 

Micro-Irrigation

Installing a micro-irrigation or drip system is another way to reduce your water use. These systems target areas that most need water, such as tree roots and garden areas. The flow of water is less than standard sprinkling systems provide. As a result, you will lose less water to run-off and evaporation. Also, the wind won't carry away the water the way it can with misting sprinklers. These drip systems can use up to 50% less than standard sprinkler systems, so you can keep your most important lawn areas green and healthy while still being a good citizen of the earth. 

In times of reduced or restricted water availability, you need to find the right balance between your lawn's needs and the greater good. You do have several choices when it comes to your water use. Both micro-irrigation and dormancy can be real water savers during the hottest and driest summer months. Consider the needs of your particular lawn and consult with your local landscaper about which water-saving methods will work best for your property. 

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