Lawn watering tips

What you can do to save water and have a green lawn 

  •  If you are building a new home or laying new sod, be sure there is at least 6 inches of topsoil beneath the sod.
  •  Test your soil and consider adding compost as organic material. It will dramatically increase the absorption of water.
  •  Follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense guidelines for landscaping: Limit the amount of turf you plant, don’t plant grass on steep slopes, don’t install ornamental water features.
  •  Don’t over-water. Most lawns need only 1 inch of water each week, either from rain or from irrigation. If you don’t have a rain gauge, set out a small tuna can. If it fills up in a week from rain, you don’t need to sprinkle.
  •  Step on your grass. If it springs back, it doesn’t need watering.
  • n Water early in the morning to cut losses to evaporation. The middle of the day is the worst time.
  • n Microirrigation or drip systems, not sprinklers, should be used on planting beds and strips of grass that are less than 8 feet wide.
  • n Cut grass no shorter than 2 inches. It will promote deeper roots that require less water.
  • n Install a weather-sensing controller or soil-moisture sensor as part of you automated sprinkling system. They will reduce over-watering.
  • n Aerate your lawn, as needed.
  • n If you use a hose for watering grass or shrubs, be sure it has a shut-off nozzle.
  • n When hiring an irrigator, look for a certified installer. The EPA offers a state-by-state list of WaterSense Irrigation Partners at

For information, go to:

  • n Water Conservation Toolbox.
  • n Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense program.
  • n University of Minnesota Extension Service Low Input Lawn Care.
  • n Irrigation Association Consumer Handbook.
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