Water is one of the most important factors in maintaining healthy turfgrass. However, during droughts or water restrictions, maintaining turfgrass health can be a challenge. In this blog, we will explore some tips for maintaining turfgrass health during water restrictions.
1. Water deeply and infrequently:
During droughts or water restrictions, it is important to water deeply and infrequently. This helps the roots of the turfgrass grow deeper, making them more drought tolerant. Instead of watering for a short time every day, water for a longer period of time once or twice a week. Make sure the water penetrates the soil to a depth of at least six inches.
2. Adjust your irrigation system:
If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is adjusted correctly for your specific lawn. Irrigation systems can waste a lot of water if they are not set up properly. Make sure the heads are adjusted so they are not spraying onto sidewalks, driveways, or buildings. Also, make sure the system is not watering any areas that do not need it, such as pavement or bare soil.
3. Use mulch:
Mulch is a great way to reduce water usage on your turfgrass. Mulch helps to keep moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation. Apply a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs, and flower beds. This will help to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain these areas.
4. Aerate the soil:
Aerating the soil can help to reduce water usage on your turfgrass. Aerating creates small holes in the soil, allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil. This helps the roots of the turfgrass grow deeper, making them more drought tolerant.
5. Choose drought-tolerant turfgrass species:
If you are considering planting new turfgrass, consider choosing a drought-tolerant species. There are many species of turfgrass that are more tolerant of drought conditions than others. Some examples of drought-tolerant turfgrass species include Bermuda grass, Buffalo grass, and Zoysia grass.
6. Avoid fertilizing during drought:
Fertilizing your turfgrass during a drought can cause more harm than good. Fertilizer requires water to be absorbed into the soil and used by the turfgrass. During a drought, there is less water available for the turfgrass to absorb. Applying fertilizer during a drought can also increase the risk of fertilizer burn on the turfgrass.
In conclusion, maintaining turfgrass health during a drought or water restriction can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to help your lawn survive. By watering deeply and infrequently, adjusting your irrigation system, using mulch, aerating the soil, choosing drought-tolerant turfgrass species, and avoiding fertilizing during drought, you can help your turfgrass survive even in the toughest conditions.
- USGA. "Managing Drought on Golf Courses." United States Golf Association, 2018.
- WaterSense. "Outdoor Water Use." Environmental Protection Agency, 2021.
- Waltz, F. C. "Drought-Tolerant Turfgrass Species for Golf Courses in the Western United States." Crop Science, vol. 45, no. 6, 2005, pp. 2537–2542.