I’m a sponsored blog partner with Pennington and participated in their Smart Seed Program. I am so excited to share this with you!
Don’t you love Spring? I do! Today is unseasonably cold but I am still working outside because it is just beautiful! It is time to start thinking about flowers and bringing the yard back to life after the winter months.I mentioned last week that we were bringing life back to our yard by fertilizing and planting new grass seeds.
Our new grass is already growing! Look at the baby grass sprouting up!
It won’t be long and we will be in the horrible Houston summer months with 100+ degree days. On those days we all suffer. The grass and plants are harder to maintain and the kids want to be outside and play. Both of those things require water. My kids LOVE to play in the water during the summer.
Last year we had a bad drought, as many of you did, and by doing those two things our water bill shot up. I didn’t realize how much water we were using until the bill came each month. Our area even put a mandatory water conservation plan in place. This year I plan to do things differently but still enjoy the outdoors. After the crazy high water bills I started doing some research on how to use the water I need but still save water and money.
Fast Facts: Drought, Water Use & Your Yard (courtesy of Pennington Smart Seed)
- In 2012, the U.S. experienced the hottest year on record and two-thirds of the country faced drought—the most ever experienced.
- Thirty-six states anticipate continued local, regional or statewide water shortages, even under non-drought conditions.
- Did you know: Americans spend on average 73 hours a year maintaining their lawns—watering being a main focus of time and energy.
- Depending on their region, homeowners use between 30%-70% of their water outdoors.
- Lawns require approximately 1 inch of water per week to stay green in the summer, which equates to about 2,500 gallons of water per week to keep an average-sized lawn green.
- Up to 50% of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and maintenance practices.
How I am going to save money and water:
- Let the sprinkler do double duty. Let the kids play in the water as it waters the yard.
- Only use outdoor water every other day.
- Only use outdoor water in the evenings. It will take less water as the ground will absorb it better without the blazing sun.
Pennington Seed wants to help us save money and water. Here are 10 easy tips to keep your landscape healthy and reduce water consumption from the experts at Pennington Seed:
1. Drought-condition plants: Plants can be conditioned for dry weather starting at the beginning of the spring season by irrigating less frequent but longer. More watering is needed earlier in the development process during germination and establishment. As part of ongoing maintenance, decrease the frequency of watering and increase the amount of water penetration to encourage deeper rooting. Deeper roots will be more drought-tolerant.
2. Install water-saving systems: Consider using a drip irrigation system around trees and shrubs in your landscape to improve water efficiency. Drip irrigation systems apply water only when needed, minimizing water loss due to evaporation and preventing moisture from reaching the spaces between plants—limiting the chance of weed growth in those areas. In addition, rain barrels can be used to harvest rainwater for later use in landscapes as irrigation.
3. Select water-efficient plants: By utilizing grass seed that requires less water, lawns are more
resilient during periods of drought and easier to maintain (e.g. Reduced time, energy and resources). Consider a pure bred, drought-tolerant seed, like Pennington Smart Seed, which stays green for up to three weeks without water and requires 30 percent less water year after year versus ordinary seed. The varieties in every bag were developed to help you establish a fuller, healthier and greener lawn, while efficiently using natural resources.
4. Don’t be overly reactive: Lawns tend to be overrated, often with entire lawns being watered to avoid a few dry spots. Overwatering can cause numerous problems, including: shallow root systems; increased disease, weed or insect infestations; reduced drought tolerance; and increased thatch and excessive growth. A lawn does not need water until the color falls by 50 percent, at which time only one inch of water should be added.
5. Adjust sprinklers: Make sure sprinklers are watering the lawn and defined landscape areas not the driveway or street. If water is seen running into the street or sidewalk, this may mean that sprinklers are not properly aligned, too much water is being applied or the soil has reached a point of saturation.
6. Water in the morning: Water at night or in the morning – from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. – to reduce the chance of water being lost to evaporation in the mid-day heat. This timing allows grass to retain moisture but still dry in enough time to prevent diseases that are more likely to develop in a wet lawn.
7. Plan around wind: Limit evaporation and water being blown outside landscape areas by watering on windless days.
8. Retain moisture with mulch: Spread mulch when seeding new areas to add a protective layer over soil. The mulch will help your soil retain moisture during the critical seed germination and establishment stages. The clippings from mulching mowers also serve the same purpose—preserving soil moisture and nutrients for growing grass.9. Broom clean: Instead of using a hose to clear debris from walkways and driveways, use a broom to tackle those types of projects and save water in the process.
10. Fertilize thoughtfully: Fertilization supplies plants with essential nutrients for strength, uniform growth and a healthy, fibrous root system. A vibrant and healthy plant makes the best use of available water, meaning less water is needed over time. There also is less chance of the plant being “burned” or dried out to a point beyond recovery. Fertilizers, however, should not be applied during periods of drought.
Attribution: Russ Nicholson is the Senior Agronomist for Pennington Seed and a Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg). He has more than 35 years of expertise in turfgrass research and management.
How so you save money and water? Share your tips below.