Water is a scarce and limited resource in Colorado’s semiarid climate, and landscapes are expensive and time consuming to replace; therefore, it is critical to prepare for and practice water saving measures to maintain landscapes. Here are some practial water saving tips.
- Don’t water on a set schedule. The need for water can vary greatly from one day to the next. Most lawns can tolerate being watered every three to five days (some longer).
- Use the manual, rather than automatic, setting on an irrigation system.
- Water when footprints or mower wheel tracks become easily visible on the turf and large areas of the lawn turn bluish gray.
- Apply three quarters to one inch of water, slowly enough that runoff and puddles do not occur. Sprinkling different areas in sequence helps water soak into the lawn more thoroughly and evenly. Don’t water again until you see abundant signs of water stress.
- Hand watering small, isolated dry spots can enable a lawn to go another day without being watered.
- Water between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m., when it’s cooler and there is less wind.
- Avoid heavy or frequent nitrogen fertilization.
- Grass that is lush is more likely to be damaged if watering restrictions are imposed. Lush, fast growing grass uses more water.
- Set your mowing height at 2 ½ to 3 inches, or as high as possible. Don’t remove more than three quarters of an inch of grass in any mowing. Use a sharp blade to reduce tearing of the grass leaves.
- Be willing to accept a less than perfect lawn.
*Tips from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension