The Lawn: 4 Simple Practices
Effective and Sustainable Lawn & Water Management Practices
1. Mow it long
Lawns mowed at the proper height helps develop a deeper root system. A deeper root system promotes healthier, stronger lawns that are more drought tolerant and heat resistant. Taller grass shades the soil keeping it cooler thereby keeping the soil from drying out so quickly. Most lawns (cool season lawn such as fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass – typical in the greater Sacramento area) prefer a mowing height of 3-4 inches.
2. Water it deep
Deep and infrequent watering promotes deeper root growth and stronger root systems. When you water your lawn you should think not so much about watering the grass, rather you should focus on watering the soil. The grass you see is simply the resulting by-product of soil hydration and root system strength. The deeper the roots the stronger the root system and the more drought tolerant and heat resistant your lawn will be.
3. Pull some plugs (aerate your lawn)
Lawn aeration, an often overlooked BUT necessary lawn maintenance service, helps build green, healthy lawns.
• Reduces soil compaction
• Promotes deeper water penetration
• Promotes deeper root growth
• Increases nutrient (fertilizer, water, oxygen) uptake
• Reduces water run-off and waste
4. Split your cycle
Healthy lawns require approximately 1 inch of water per week. Lawns are very resilient and can survive with much less. In both drought and non-drought times, splitting your sprinkler cycle is a great way to maximize water uptake and reduce water waste. Light sprinkling promotes shallow root growth. Shallow roots stay near the surface and dry out quicker. To promote deep watering for deeper root growth, water deeply and infrequently. If you normally water for 15 minutes split the cycle by watering for 8 minutes on the first run and allow a 90- to 120-minute break before running the remaining 7 minutes. The break in between cycles allow for the water to saturate and drain deeper into the soil before the next cycle begins.