Rethink Lawns

Jul 1, 2013 - 11:00 am

Current drought conditions, low lake levels, and the summer’s first wave of triple-digit temperatures are reminders to continue water conservation efforts – including the ways we care for our lawns and gardens. 

Here are 10 simple and free or low-cost measures to reduce water use in your yard:

1. Transform your yard to a Green Garden.  Green Gardens require less water and need fewer pesticides and fertilizers for maintenance.  Plus, they provide wildlife habitat!  For more information, click this link.

2. OR convert to a WaterWise Landscape.  Change turf grass to native plant beds and permeable hardscape that eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation.  Do so, and apply for a WaterWise rebate here!
3. Choose drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants.  Use native plants in your yard that need less water and group them according to their watering needs. On slopes, select plants that will help retain water and reduce runoff. Learn more here.

4. Start your own rain garden.  Enjoy colorful native plants and grasses that serve a purpose!  Rain gardens conserve water, protect water quality, and reduce flooding and erosion.  Learn how to get started by clicking here.

5. Mulch around trees and plants.  Mulch will slow the evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Mulching also extends the amount of time between watering. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

6. Follow Stage 2 watering restrictions.  Use sprinklers and irrigation systems during the early morning hours or after 7:00 pm on your assigned day.  Remember to always follow the City’s watering schedule: you can find it here

7. Avoid water waste.  Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Try not to water when it's windy, which can blow sprinklers off target and speed up evaporation.  Learn more.

8. Use the City’s Drought Survival Tools to make the most of outdoor watering.  Pick up free soil moisture meters, treegators, and digital garden hose meters to accurately monitor and track your watering needs.  For more information go here

9. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings.  Check outdoor equipment frequently to keep everything drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.  If you use an irrigation system, schedule a free Irrigation System Evaluation.

10. Use a hose timer.  Save water AND money by purchasing a watering timer for your hoses.  Rebates are available.