We are finally getting some rain! That is good news, but it does not mean that our current drought situation is over. It will take a lot more than that to make a difference at this point. Your lawn does not have to suffer though! There are things that you can do to help conserve water and keep your lawn and garden looking green and healthy. Here is a short list that we have put together.
Check for leaks
The first step is to check for leaks in and around your house. Check to see that all indoor and outdoor faucets are shut off securely and not dripping. Even a small drip can be devastating to the local water supply during a severe drought.
Run a water meter test
Once you have checked all of your faucets, do a water meter test. Designate a 2 hour window of time when you are not using any water in or around your house. (Go out for dinner or go see a movie!) Check the water meter before and after this 2 hour period — if the meter does not read exactly the same each time you check it, then you have a leak somewhere. The leak can be as simple as a missed faucet or a toilet tank that is running, so make sure you check everything.
Mulch Mulch Mulch
To help keep your trees and plants watered, add some mulch around the base. Mulch slows the evaporation of moisture and discourages weed growth. Putting mulch around trees, plants and shrubs will allow the soil to retain more moisture. This works well in the garden too!
Don’t water everyday
Now that summer is almost here, the city of Sacramento (and surrounding cities) has implemented a watering/water conservation schedule. But just because you CAN water on those days, does not mean that you have to. Most lawns only need around 1″ of water a week. Test your lawn before watering. Do this by stepping on the grass, as if you were going for a walk. If it springs back up, you do not need to water. If it stays flat, you can consider watering. Letting your grass grow a bit taller will also help water remain in the soil by prohibiting evaporation. A good gauge to see if you have watered enough is to put a (clean) empty tuna can on the lawn under the sprinkler. When the can is full, you have watered enough.
Get some exercise
Dig the broom out of the back of the closet or garage and use it to clean off your driveway or cement patio rather than spraying it down with the hose. You will get your daily does of exercise as well!
Taking the time and making the effort to do these few small things can really make a big difference. We hope this information encourages you to conserve water in your yard.