We here in South Africa have grown accustomed to water restrictions over the last few years because of drought or near-drought conditions. This makes lawn care a bit difficult. For some it’s a personal choice, but mostly we are forced to reduce the amount of water we give our grass and plants.
We are forced to look into methods of conserving water and still have a lush green and wonderfully soft landscape to enjoy those summer days on.
The South African sun is wonderful, but can be very harsh on landscapes not getting more than enough water, for this reason we try to mow our grass on a higher lawn mower setting. This will shade the roots more, encourage development and reduces the amount of moisture lost from the soil.
When times really are tough try not to remove the clippings. This not only helps shade the roots better, but also improves the quality of the soil as it breaks down slowly and adds to your lawn care regime.
Most lawns only need about 25mm or 2.5cm of water per week to survive. A quick sprinkle every other day will not be enough. Try to rather give the full amount at once as this will ensure a deep root system and protect the lawn against aggressive heat. A great lawn care tip is to put an empty tuna can on your lawn – when it’s full, you’ve watered about the right amount.
Another great lawn care tip is to water your lawn early in the morning. There is more moisture in the air in the mornings which may reduce water evaporation. Also try to keep the irrigation as close to the ground as possible. Try to water on a day were there are no breezes or at the least a very light breeze. Wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.
Then something South Africans are not too excited about is lawn alternatives or simply to reduce the size of your lawn. Different ways of doing this is with groundcover, clover, ornamental grasses and flower & shrub beds. Each one of these methods has their own positives so I suggest doing some research on the different options available to you. This will also cut the time you spend on lawn care significantly.