How to Grow A Green Lawn Without Water

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Green lawns don't always need additional watering.
Green lawns don't always need additional watering. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Nothing is more symbolic of suburban social status than a lush, perfectly manicured green lawn. Yet, water is a rapidly dwindling natural resource, and, with drought affecting most of the Western United States, conserving water is paramount. Americans typically use about 50 percent their water for landscaping, which means that the lawns also add a hefty amount to the bottom line of our water bills. According to NASA scientist Cristina Milesi, grass is the single largest irrigated crop in the United States. There are cultural methods that you can use to keep your lawn green without much irrigation.

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Stop watering your lawn on a regular basis. Many grasses, when not getting enough rain water, go into dormancy, use less water and survive periods of drought. Such tolerant grasses are Kentucky bluegrass and fescue grass. Use these types of grass for your lawn, to save water. Seed grass that turns yellow with a drought tolerant seed mix.

Fertilize your lawn less frequently. Fertilized lawns need more water, so limit fertilization to the beginning and end of the growing season, and during a rainy period (but only if you absolutely have to).

Let grass grow taller so root systems extend deeper into the soil. This makes lawns hardy and more drought tolerant. Plus, it lengthens the time between mowings which means less expense and work for homeowners.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider using harvested rain water as opposed to municipal water supplies. Simply set out collection containers to catch rainfall and water the lawn as necessary.
  • Americans tend to over water their lawns, if you can't kick your sprinkler habit, at least seek to reduce the frequency by half.
  • Grass seed will need to be watered in order for it to grow and establish a good root system. Follow the directions on the package.

References

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