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Water. A finite source that all living things depend upon. Our pets. Ourselves. Our lawn.
In a time where we are much more aware of the importance of water conservation, a lot of people question if watering their lawn is a waste of such a valuable source. We went from foolishly over-watering our lawns to ditching the sprinkler altogether.
Just because droughts are fresh in everyone’s mind, lawn care doesn’t need to take a backseat. We just need to take the right precautions when it comes to watering our lawns. With these four tips, we will have your New Orleans lawn hydrated, vibrant, and thriving in no time!
1. Water Only When You Need To
New Orleans is no stranger to rain. The Crescent City is ranked third for most rainfall in the United States, trumping the notoriously rain-heavy Seattle─which didn’t even make the top 10! The average American city gets 37 inches of rain a year, while New Orleans gets a whopping 59! Suffice to say, that’s free resources just falling out of the sky!
Just like not watering your lawn enough can kill your landscape, watering it too much can do so as well. Too much water can lead to fungus, mold, and disease spreading across your lawn. Not only that, but over-watering also suffocates the roots of your grass. Like us, your grass needs to breathe in order to digest all the nutrients it is receiving from its watering. Continuously adding water to your soil clogs up the air holes and effectively kills off your grass.
Typically, your lawn needs about an inch of water each week. So if rain is not in the forecast, then by all means water away! However, if you hear rain is coming, get out and mow your lawn. It will add some air pockets into your soil for the rainwater to penetrate. Also, it’s a good practice to invest in rain barrels to collect that rain for future watering.
2. Get Down in Those Roots!
Photo: Flickr / Oregon State University
As I mentioned earlier, your grass typically needs 1 inch of water a week. However, superficially watering the surface isn’t going to do the trick. Simply getting the foliage wet will only lead to the spreading of that fungus and disease we talked about. Not so cute.
Surface drip irrigation (SDIs) systems are a great way to ensure that your roots are getting the love that they need. Tubes are buried up to 25 cm under the soil’s surface. Water will slowly drip into the plant’s roots, strengthening the overall structure of your blades. SDIs are estimated to save you from 25-50% more water than flood irrigation.
3. Have You Tried Mulch?
Another struggle you face when watering your lawn is the sun. That dang water cycle!
Once you water your lawn, it immediately begins the process of evaporation. Mulching can slow down this process by conserving the moisture. Essentially, it is organic material that aids in the strengthening of soil. If your lawn mower has the capabilities of mulching, go for it!
Grass clippings are 85% water and 100% organic.
So you are saving on water and fertilizer by mulching!
4. Water in the Morning
Photo: Flickr / Sarah Horrigan
Just like you should kick your day off with a glass of water infused with lemon (you really should…Google it), your grass would also like to start its day off with water. Do you remember that word we used to hear in science class back in the day? Photosynthesis. Yeah, lawns do that. They use water and sunlight to grow. Simply speaking, the earlier you water in the day, the more time it has to bask in the sun.
As we mentioned earlier, water evaporates. The longer your lawn has to drink up all of the water’s nutrients, the more benefits it will receive. I think this is pretty self explanatory, so we are just going to drop the mic here.
There you have it! Four great tips to make sure your New Orleans lawn is well cared for. After all, this is lawn care people, not lawn uncaring. Bad, huh? I tried. Follow these steps and you can make sure your lawn is as healthy as ever, with very little reason for guilt over water waste.
Have more questions about lawn care? Visit our New Orleans lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments below.