Thursday, Jul. 7th, 2016
5 Tips To Help Your Yard Survive A Drought
Our yards are a place of sanctuary – where we go to relax, play with our kids, and enjoy time with family and friends while barbecuing. There are many reasons we want our yards in quality condition, such as an enhanced quality of life, environmental benefits, and property values. This goes for every season, even if there is a drought. While most people give up on their lawns when there’s a drought, it is possible to keep your yard healthy and still do your part to conserve water. Below are our five tips that will help your yard survive a drought.
Tip #1 – Water only if your plants need it
If you live in a community that has mandatory or voluntary watering restrictions, it’s tempting to use all the water you can when you can. However, it’s important to water your plants only if they need it.
Spring is the perfect time to apply supplemental watering. This will encourage deep root growth for lawns. The best way to do this is to soak the grass well and then wait a few days before you water it again. In some cases, you’ll even want to wait a week to water it again so it can get used to the watering schedule.
Deep, infrequent watering will train the plants’ roots to grow deeper, and more robust. This will also help them survive the hotter temperatures in July and August. Frequent watering should be avoided because it keeps roots near the top of the soil, where they will dry out more quickly in the heat.
Most importantly, check your soil before you water. A great way to check your soil is by taking a screwdriver and sticking it in the soil. If it’s hard to push in, your lawn is thirsty and needs to be watered; if it’s easy to push in, you don’t need to water your lawn.
Tip #2 – Put your sprinklers on a timer
Become familiar with the programming feature of your sprinkler system because you’ll need to do this several times throughout the year. Setting the system once for the entire season is not recommended because as the weather changes, you’ll need to adjust the time. To avoid watering during a rainstorm, install a rain sensor that will automatically shut off the system.
Tip #3 – Amend soil and add mulch
Healthy, productive soil more readily absorbs moisture. Improve sandy or clay soils prior to planting with 3-5 cubic yards of organic matter per 1,000 square feet of an area to be seeded, planted, or sodded. Till the compost to a depth of 4-6 inches. Apply mulch, such as wood chips or bark, 3-4 inches deep on top of flowerbeds, gardens, and around trees.
Tip #4 – Mow and aerate wisely
Aerate in the spring or fall with a core-aerating machine. Aeration opens up the soil so it can take in the moisture and nutrients that keep lawns healthy. Mow traditional turf grass to have a height of 3-inches and never cut more than one-third of the total height of the grass. Keeping grass at an optimal length allows it to retain moisture so you can water less. Leaving the clippings on the grass can improve the lawn and soil health.
Tip #5 – Plant the right plants
When it comes time to choosing your plants, you should choose the right ones for the right places. Plants with low water requirements are best in southern states because they’ll do better in the drought years. They do well in other climates, but you need to make sure you aren’t over-watering them with your other plants.
Another rule of thumb is when you plant, cluster plants together with similar sunlight and watering requirements and avoid over-planting because it may lead to water waste. This will give you a healthier looking garden and save you water. A healthy plant will live better through a drought and be more resistant to pests.
Now that you know how to be more conservative with your water during a drought, find the right plants and make your yard shine. To keep you yard in shape, TaskEasy can match you up with the right vendor that will know how to maintain your lawn. For more information, visit TaskEasy.com or call us at 1-800-518-4461.