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Your lawn requires more water to maintain than any other part of your garden. Its overall health depends on how much water it receives. So how do you know how much to water and how often? Here are the basics to watering your lawn.
Soak rates vary according to soil type. To figure out approximately how long you need your system to run, use this helpful chart created by the Better Lawn and Turf Institute as a guide to how long it will take water to soak into your soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
|Soil Type||Depth of Infiltration||Soak Time |
Per Hour Time for 1 inch of Water to Soak In.
|Sand||2.0 inches||1/2 hour|
|Sandy Loam||1.0 inches||1 hour|
|Loam||0.5 inches||2 hours|
|Silt Loam||0.4 inches||2 hours 15 minutes|
|Clay Loam||0.3 inches||3 hours 20 minutes|
|Clay||0.2 inches||5 hours|
Source: Better Lawn and Turf Institute
Thrifty watering is the way to go, especially during Colorado's dry summers. Here are my tips:
When bathing your pets, do it outside on the lawn or near plants that need watering.
Set a timer and water your garden at the same time your sprinklers water your lawn.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
When I wash clothes, I use cold water and let the wash water drain into the washtub with the plug in. Then when doing another load, I bail the water back into the machine. It saves soap and water, keeps my sump pump from running all the time, and keeps my septic tank from filling up
By Mary from Bad Axe, MI
I do the same thing. In the winter and early spring, when the temp was above freezing, I used hot soapy wash water to clean the salt and flithy black road dirt off the sidewalk & driveway apron out front.
It works even when below freezing if it's sunny and early in the day.
If I use bleach (not often) I let it go through the regular indoor drain to clean it out.
Recently I used soapy water from the washer to clean an oil spot off the driveway. I use biodegradable Seventh Generation detergent, so it's safe for the lawn.
I also used the hot soapy water to melt ice jams from the street plows at the apron of the driveway.
I just point the washer hose into a bucket or gallon jugs and carry it out to the sidewalk or driveway, repeatedly. Good exercise, but I keep fantasizing about a long hose from the washer to the driveway apron.
I have done that, works like a charm, now I run my wash water out on the lawn, it kills the weeds in my Bermuda grass. I use the rinse water to water flowers, wash the dog, etc. I put a long hose on the washer water outlet, so I can move the water around my yard.
My mother had a sud-saver set up also. As I got interested in being more conserving, I found ways to use the grey water from my washer, without an automatic sud-saver. My home is old and I drain the washer water into a concrete utility sink. When I hear the water running, I catch it in a plastic wash basin and dump it into two 5 gallon buckets.
I need a lawn sprinkler that will water a narrow piece of my yard next to the street. I need it to be able just to water about a 32 inch wide area without watering the street. Any ideas?
By Peggy C
Look for "soaker hose", which is porous, round hose. If you only turn your faucet on partially, it weeps; if you turn more pressure on, it will spritz. If you experiment with the pressure, you should be able to get your grass strip nicely. The other alternative, would be to get a few five gallon buckets, drill holes in the sides at the bottom, and put them on the strip, fill with the hose, and let them water the strip.
Our well is very low this year due to a lack of rain. We are trying to keep the lawn alive. We put shower water on it and so forth in addition to once in awhile using the sprinklers. Would the lawn be healthier if I fertilize it or would that simply stress it out? I know I would need to water in the fertilizer.
Hardiness Zone: 8a
Rae Ann from California
If you want to fertilize, use something natural, like corn gluten meal. Be aware that this will make everything grow, including weeds, so it's wise to do it when the weed population is low. It's much healthier for the lawn, does not contain blastingly large amounts of nitrogen, and so will make your lawn healthier. We let the lawn grow until it starts to look like it needs a haircut, and then set the mower height to the second to the highest setting (every mower is different). The mowings go faster, and by the end of the year, all we've done is something like 2 extra mowings. We let the clippings fall back on the lawn.
My DH was a lawn perfectionist until I made him go with me to a seminar put on by our city about conserving water via lawn care. By the end of the meeting, he agreed to do a "We'll try it and see." Been doing it this was for more years than I can recall. This has certainly cut back on our watering. You might also call your local plant nursery and ask if there is a low water requiring grass - buy a couple of squares, try them out and see. I was given some that had been hanging out in the back of a truck and they didn't grow - by the time I got them the grass was half dead. Am going to do it again but get fresh mats this time.
By Jane Smith
I would not put any fertilizer on the lawn as it could burn and stress the grass. I would do nothing. The grass will turn brown and look dead but it will come back when it rains again.
This is for Louise. We had an 8 year drought in San Jose, CA (Silicon Valley). We also did a version of this to save our 28 rose bushes as well as a new lawn from the previous year. A tip for you, get an outdoor dual hose fitting and just fit one old short hose to one and the outdoor longer one to the second side. Then all you have to do is turn the little switch when doing laundry instead of changing hoses. We did this for 10 years, even after the drought. Good luck.