We decided to start a WATER WISE CAMPAIGN with advice and tips on how to save water, seeing as water has become a scarce resource in SA and we need to use it sparingly.
This is the first email of the campaign, further posts will be published during the coming weeks. The information will also be available on our Facebook page HERE. Please like the Facebook post, share it or comment on the post and stand a chance to WIN 2 CUBIC METERS OF ORGANIC COMPOST and a HOSE PIPE with fittings, delivered to you (* terms and conditions apply).
We made a list of 12 WATER SAVING TIPS to take care of your lawn during this dry spell –
- Remove no more than 1/3 the height of the grass for any one mowing. Keeping the grass slightly higher will increase shade on the soil, encourage deeper rooting and reduce evaporation. The added height shades the ground, slowing evaporation. Mowing shorter not only provides less protection for the ground, but it also allows quicker uptakes of water into the atmosphere.
- Mow in the morning or early evening and not midday – to avoid burning grass.
- Try mulching, even if you do not have a mulching mower. Let clippings remain on the lawn. Lawns tend to lose more water and nutrients through evaporation when clippings are removed.
- Water thoroughly but infrequently to encourage deeper rooting, increase soil moisture reservoir and to reduce the number of weeds. Letting the grass be “thirsty” encourages deeper rooting.
- Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation; it can reduce water usage up to 40%.
- Fertilise only twice a year; mid-October and late February. Always use a slow release organic fertiliser. Lush lawns look great, but heavily fertilised lawns use more water and are more susceptible to drought stress.
- Water only every 5 – 7 days (if no rain). A soaking rain can extend that period up to 10 -14 days. Most people apply double the amount of water needed.
- Do not water lawn on windy days; it increases transpiration and evaporation rates.
- If you did not aerate your lawn in spring, consider doing so in the fall. Aeration creates small holes in the ground that allow water to soak deeper into the ground and help promote root growth.
- If possible, use soak irrigation lines instead of pop-up heads. These can reduce water consumption up to 60%. If using pop-up heads, align heads to avoid paved surfaces or other non-targeted objects. Regularly check for leaks and install a rain gauge to prevent activation of the system during and just after a rainfall.
- Increase organic matter; while this comes naturally to most organic gardeners, many don’t realise the benefits of building humus in the soil. Organic matter absorbs many times its weight in water, which is then available for plant growth. It provides many advantages: clay soils with added organic matter will accept water more quickly, and organically amended sandy soils hold water longer and don’t need to be watered as frequently. One of the easiest ways to build organic matter is to add Grass Factory & Eco Organic Compost that breaks down to humus. This has an incredible potential to hold moisture, nutrients and build soil health.
- Keep the lawn mower blade sharp to make cleaner cuts that cause less water loss than cuts from dull mower blades.