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How Should I Water During Droughts & Water Restrictions?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Water Restrictions

Droughts, heat waves, and water restrictions are here to stay. When the water supply becomes short, it is not too difficult of a decision if you have to choose between your morning shower or your lawn. Although it can be aggravating and cause numerous headaches, there are a few things you can do to help ease the hardship your lawn may face:
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  1. If you are allowed to water your lawn,try to do it during the early mornings when it can be put to its best use. See: When is the Best Time to Water?
  2. Try to mow your lawn to higher lengths (see: Mowing). This will help your lawn by providing more shade to the ground and a deeper root system to help the grass survive such periods.
  3. Aerate or de-thatch your lawn for better water penetration. This can be especially beneficial if your lawn is on a slope or incline and has trouble with water run-off. For more information, see: Aerating & Aerating Companies in your Area.
  4. When you mow, try to mulch the clippings back into the lawn to help provide your lawn with the nutrients and ground cover it may need. see: Should I Bag or Mulch the Clippings?
  5. Plant a grass that is more drought-tolerant. See: Getting to Know Your Lawn
  6. Try to cut back on your fertilization. If your lawn gets less nitrogen, it will want to grow less, requiring less water. See: Fertilizing
  7. Install a sprinkler system. If you are not a VERY early morning person in the summer, then you may want to get a sprinkler system that can water for you. Most systems have pre-set timers that allow you virtually maintenance free watering. See: Lawn Companies & Services in your Area
  8. Let your lawn brown and/or go dormant until the wet weather returns and brings your lawn back. This may be a good time to reseed your lawn with more drought-tolerant grasses if you hate what you already have. For a list of grasses see: Getting to Know Your Lawn

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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