Lawn & Garden
Don’t over water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks. Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speeds are the lowest. This reduces loss from evaporation.
Regularly check sprinkler systems and timing devices to be sure they are operating properly. Purchase and install a rain sensor device or switch that will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred. To retrofit your existing system, contact an irrigation professional for more information.
Mowing & Fertilizing
Raise the lawnmower blade to at least three inches. A lawn cut higher encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn. Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps control weeds that compete with plants for water. Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees. Once established, they do not need to be watered as frequently and they will usually survive a dry period without any watering. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
Reduce weeds in your garden and you’ll reduce the competition for water.