Lawn Maintenance the GREEN way

Water Conservation and Your Garden (Environmental Grounds Maintenance)

Well, Spring is here!  Time to get the garden going.  And that means the annual tradition of watering is soon to begin.  Whether you set the sprinkler yourself, or it works automatically, you just might want to make some changes after you read the following from www.youbetyourgarden.org . The Green Team, working on the GreenFaith Certification program, hopes you find this actionable and informative.                                         

If you are inclined to water your lawn, water slow, long and deep.  It takes about 625 gallons of water to apply an inch to 1,000 square feet of lawn area.  (Imagine what you can save if you adjust your automatic system, or change your habit!!)

Use of a good all-natural fertilizer is recommended. Chemical fertilizers draw roots shallower and reduce valuable microbes that your grass needs for survival. This combination greatly increases thatch, an ideal  condition for diseaseNew plantings will require more frequent watering than established plants. The same type of saturating should be exercised, but once a week may be necessary for new plants.

Mulching can help to reduce water loss. The use of mulch on new or established plantings is an excellent method of conserving water. Beds, which are exposed to the sun, and drying winds without cover will dry out rapidly. Trying to keep these areas moist by watering is not adequate, and a great deal of water is wasted. Some of the more common materials used for mulching are peat moss, wood chips, straw, salt march hay, sawdust, pine needles, hay, leaf mold, compost, dried bark, leaves and many others. Much less water will be required to maintain vigorous plants with the use of a 2-inch mulch.

Overall Watering Program for Outdoor Plants.In trying to conserve water and to realize greatest benefit from water used, it is wise to set up a regularly scheduled program.

· Do not try to water all planted areas at each watering.

– Section off your areas, and concentrate on these areas individually for maximum benefit.

· Saturate each area, and then allow to dry out before watering again.

· Plan to use mulch around all planted areas to reduce water loss.

· Do not allow plants to wilt before beginning a watering program.

· Remember—two hoses at low pressure without a nozzle is the best method of watering.

· Over watering can be more harmful to plants than under watering. Roots need air as well as water. Do not keep soil saturated with water continuously

Go to www.youbetyourgarden.org  for more information.

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