Lawn care during water restrictions

Lawn care during water restrictions

Across much of the country areas have been placed on Level 1 Water Restrictions, which means no watering of lawns between 10am and 4pm, no sprinklers, hoses must be fitted with trigger nozzles and you could be fined for not complying.

So, what does that mean for your beloved lawn? 

And how can you water a newly laid lawn properly with restrictions?

Here are some tips to help you manage your new turf or care for your established lawn during water restrictions:

Water wisely
When watering is an issue, you want to make sure you’re using water wisely. Water early in the morning for about 15 minutes so the lawn can absorb the moisture more effectively. Alternately, water parts of the lawn that are most in need (drying out more) or the areas you want to stay green.

Mowing 


Keep the mower cutting height as high as possible so the lawn retains all the moisture that it can. Keep your blades sharp, as blunt ones tend to rip the lawn, leaving it with jagged leaf edges which dry out quickly and turn brown. 

 

Wetting Agents
Moisture retention agents are a secret weapon and the most underrated products on the lawn market and should be in every garden shed. They are easy to click onto your hose and can cover an area up to 150 square metres. During a dry spell or a drought, use a moisture retention agent every four or five weeks to extend your watering and make it more effective.

Reduce foot traffic
Where at all possible, protect the lawn. Reduce the amount of human and pet foot traffic. The weight from the foot traffic compacts the soil making it harder for the lawn’s roots to penetrate soil moisture. An overall reduction in lawn traffic will help it spring back to life more effectively once the drought is over.

What if you’re about to put in a new lawn?

The drought tolerance of lawns refers to a lawn type’s ability to stay alive and remain green for the longest period of time, while under water restrictions, or when receiving no water at all during summer.

Equally as important when considering the drought tolerance of a lawn variety is the ability of a lawn to recover itself once it has finally browned-off. Meaning that once the lawn looks like it has died-off from lack of water, it will recover and become green again once it begins receiving water

Zoysia is a type of lawn that has a very high ability to remain green and stay alive for longer under water restrictions and summer heat.

Zoysia, often sold as Native Nara or Empire, has a very good ability to recover after drought conditions have ended. This is due to the fact that Zoysia has underground runners to support the lawn.

Zoysia grass types are an excellent choice for homes which face water restrictions combined with summer heat. Zoysia is less aggressive than some other grass types and requires only low overall maintenance.

Where can I get more information about water exemptions when I lay new turf?

Water exemptions for homeowners laying new lawn are being considered by most Water Agencies where water restrictions have been imposed.

To find out if your area has imposed water restrictions visit the Bureau of Meteorology at http://bit.ly/BOM-water-restrictions

Then – Contact your Local Water Agency to find out what exemptions may apply for watering new lawn.

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