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How Do I Water a Lawn on a Steep Slope or Grade?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Steep Grade
A Steep Grade

Most people who have a lawn on a steep slope or grade know how difficult it is to water. Many basement-built houses often elevate the foundation of the house or backyard, making it difficult for the ground to soak-up water for a consistent looking lawn. The easy answer is to simply plant bushes or shrubs in place of the lawn. But, most people who have grass want to keep it, so here are a few ideas on how to make the best of it:
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  1. Make sure your lawn gets aerated once or twice a year so it can better hold water and prevent run-off. See Aerating for additional info and Lawn Companies & Services in your Area for companies in your area who can assist you.
  2. Use a sprinkler that will dispense water in a slow manner so the ground will be able to absorb the water and avoid run-off. Often times, you may even have to shut off the sprinkler every 5 minutes or so, wait, and turn it on again so the water has time to absorb. You can gauge this as you go.
  3. You can try what are referred to as "leaky pipes" and "soaker hoses". They are generally made of plastic or rubber, respectively, and can either spray in very small amounts or slowly leak out water in a certain area. However, with the advent of newer and better sprinklers, this may be a crude option.
  4. If options 3 & 4 sound like a pain in the you-know-what,you can always install a new sprinkler system and make life a lot easier. With a sprinkler system, you can pre-set the amount, the areas to be watered, and the times of the watering. For a list of sprinkler system companies in you area see: Lawn Companies & Services in your Area.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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