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Watering Lawns

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Watering Lawns

Post  Kelejan on 5/15/2011, 10:29 am

I save all my watering efforts for my veggies and a few flowers.

Does anyone here still water their lawns. I gave that up a couple of years ago,
going for a golden lawn in the heat of summer.

My neighbour waters her lawns just about every day, and includes rhe roadway, as do some other neighbours. I am looking forward to when we have water meters so that I can benefir from my frugal ways.

I have read that our province of Canada uses the most water per capita, and that our small city is the most profligate in British Columbia. Well, we are situated at the confluence of the mighty Columbia River and the Kootenay River.

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Re: Watering Lawns

Post  Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 11:15 am

We water the part inside the fence. The city boulevard part we don't do. Here in our city, we have watering restrictions but I really don't see them being enforced very well. We only water once a week. The more you water the more often you have to cut the grass. Hellooooo!!! Why make more work for yourself. Most people here water way more than is necessary too. I guess because we live at the junction of two rivers and encounter flooding each spring it is hard to get people used to the idea that water is precious.

Eventually, we are hoping to have our yard switched over to mostly gardens that can be watered from the rainbarrels or greywater and very little grass.

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Re: Watering Lawns

Post  fiddleman on 5/15/2011, 1:00 pm

Here where I live (mid-Michigan) we usually have a wet enough summer I don't need to water until mid August. Now, that said, my neighbors have a maple tree which shades the lawn from about 3:00 pm on, so that helps cut the evaporation. Also, I cut my lawn to 4inches in height, and have a mulching mower which returns the clippings to the lawn. The taller the blade of grass the more it shades the soil which cuts evaporation/shades weed seedlings/and the height of the blade of grass generally will equal the depth of the grass roots. I have owned this property for about 20 years and every 3- 5 years or so I top dress the entire lawn with 1/4 inch of compost/peat moss to help the soil retain water better. In the summer my grass reminds me of the heavy shag carpeting my parents had; soft and wonderful to walk in. This advice came to me through my dad who is a master gardener and has an even better lawn than I do... but he spends more time mowing and watering than I am willing to give.

A good summer storm will put enough water on the lawn to keep it healthy for a week or week and a half depending on wind/temp/sun. If I notice footprints staying on the lawn for more than a 15 to 30 minutes, I run the tractor sprinkler on the entire lawn. It waters slow enough to put a 1/4 inch of water down in a single pass - usually enough to get the lawn to the next rain storm.

(disclaimer) I have a bit of a theory on grass lawns however, I think of lawns as the opportunity to create a canvas on which to paint more perennial flower gardens (front lawn) and use the grass as free form areas to enhance the viewing of the flowers/bushes/miniature trees. The focus isn't on the grass itself, but on the plants surrounding them. In this manner I am able to keep the area of grass to a minimum allowing me to have a beautiful yard while still having a miniscule amount of extra fertilizer/grub killer/maintenance issues. My entire front and side yards take less than 10 minutes to mow allowing for more leisure time. Grass requires way too much maintenance and supervision to keep it properly healthy so I keep the grassy lawn areas to a minimum. My backyard is my heavy use area and if it's green it's good. I have a mix of clover/grass/and whatnot which the wild life loves and I love not worrying about if someone (or one of my black labs) should injure a section - a little grass seed will put it right quickly enough. Front yard for show, back yard for nature.


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Re: Watering Lawns

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/15/2011, 2:46 pm

I don't water anymore, either. I try to keep my front for show and my back for the kids to do whatever with. But, even I don't want huge water bills from dumping tons of chlorinated water on it thes days.

A quarter inch of rain will do more for my lawn than 2 inches of chlorinated stuff. So, why pay for that, imo?

I've also never mastered the technique. I read that you water an inch and a half or two inches per week. But, you water once or twice a week to drive the roots deep and give them better protection vs droughts. Well, it all still goes dormant here in the midwest in August.

I've tried watering about 15-20 minutes everyday, too. That never worked well in my old yard because there was so much clay it never penetrated an inch deep. So, it all sucked.....and I gave up.

I'm happier after giving up because it gives me time to obsess over my gardens instead of my lawn...lol.

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Re: Watering Lawns

Post  Old Hippie on 5/15/2011, 2:54 pm

There's a lot to be said for laziness. You can just claim that you are doing your part to conserve water which is a much more admirable quality than sloth.

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