Reduce your lawn's water dependence
According to the EPA, the typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainfall every year. Here are three simple things you can do to bring down the average:
1. Shrink the size of your lawn. Turf requires vastly greater amounts of water than mixed plantings of perennials and shrubs, so increase the size of existing beds and create additional planting islands. Focus on native plants, which can often get by on only the rain nature provides after they get established.
2. Water at the right time of day. The best time to water is early morning. Watering in late morning or early evening can extend a lawn’s natural “dew period” and make it more prone to disease. Do not water between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when much of the water would be lost to evaporation.
3. Set your mower high. Letting grass grow taller encourages it to have deeper roots, which allow it to go longer between waterings. Check with your local extension service for the optimal height of the type of grass you have.