Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
We are all aware of the drought and see our lawns suffering every day because of it. If we let our lawns die, weeds and dust will take over and home values will continue to decrease. When the drought ends, it will cost a fortune to replace our lawns. What can be done to help our lawns?
1.What is the wisdom of watering during the hottest time of the day? Isn’t it better to water after midnight? The cooler temperatures wild help by decreasing evaporation and by giving moisture a better chance to sink into the root area. Also, if your lawn is not too big, why not use soaker hoses on the sides next to the street? This could help prevent the chance of water running into the side of the street. Another thing: be careful not to mow too short. Short grass dries the root area quicker.
2.Cutting down on your grass area is an obvious water saver. Many homes have parking areas in front of their garages that should be widened. Also, narrow walkways from the garage could be widened. Redesigning the backyard to decrease grass area is a good idea. A back yard “picnic are” makes sense for a party or outdoor supper on a hot summer evening. Concrete work is not cheap but we are concerned about long term benefits and saving water. Water runs off concrete. Next time it rains, you want that rain to runoff your concrete and on to our grass area. Concrete is a permanent fixture that requires no repairs, watering, or mowing.
3. If you do not mulch, you should. Mulching helps by increasing the root area of your grass. A thicker root also gives you better water retention. Do not confuse mulch with fertilizer. Fertilizer makes your grass greener (and thirstier) but does nothing to improve the quality of your soil. Look for a corner in your back yard and start recycling these organic materials you are throwing away. In a short time you can spread that much on your grass and be on your way to a healthier lawn while saving water.
Follow these steps you can’t make it rain but you can help your lawn.