With Laval water hour restrictions in effect for Laval homeowners, it is important to adapt your lawn care practices in order to maintain a healthy green lawn throughout the summer. This stress on lawns can be greatly reduced with careful planning to adapt the sod to grow and thrive with less water than we were accustomed to applying in the past.
The 3 key factors:
- Reducing the Frequency of Watering
- Adjust Mowing Height
- Proper Fertilization
Reducing the frequency of watering
A deep root system allows the roots of the lawn to live below the evaporation level of the topsoil, this means the lawn will always have a consistent availability of water, even on the hottest days. To train the lawn to grow deep roots, we have to essentially deprive the sod of as much water as possible. As the immediate availability of water is reduced at the top of the soil, the lawn will naturally set down roots deeper into the soil to look for water.
To begin with, turn off all automatic irrigation systems. We must now monitor the lawn every day, if the lawn is looking green and healthy, then there is no need for additional water. Gradually we will notice the lawn is looking less than perfect, but we still do not want to water just yet, instead monitor keenly for the right moment.
Once the leaf of the lawn is becoming wilted, and is still wilted at the end of the day, it is time to give the sod a very large drink of water. Manually switch on the irrigation system and water for double or triple the normal watering time which was previously used. This allows the water to sink deep into the soil below the evaporation level. A good depth should range between 2-3 inches of watering or once your foot sinks into the soil about an inch.
Adjust Mowing Height
The final step to creating drought tolerant sod involves professional lawn mowing practices. Despite what many people believe, mowing is only to remove excess lawn growth, it is in fact a vital part of all lawn care practices, but is slightly different for low water lawns.
Low water lawns should be mowed higher than they otherwise used to be, an extra half to one inch of height is usually most suitable. This allows the sod to shade the soil and effectively root more during high heat weather; evidently keeping the soil moist. We suggest setting your mower to 3 inches height.
Given the height restriction, lawns should be mowed once a week. This practice not only has the benefit of giving us a beautiful lawn, but also promotes the lawn to become thicker and healthier, while providing even more shade to the soil and root system.
Lawn Care Treatment Plans – Fertilizers
As the sod will be under higher stress, we must keep the lawn in the best health possible in order to maintain it as a low water lawn. Fertilizers provide lawns with the minerals and nutrients they need for food, survival and strength. Begin a lawn care treatment regimen which involves application every 6-8 weeks, and only ever apply fertilizers just before the lawn is due to be watered. Fertilizers which are left sitting on the lawn surface can severely damage lawns, unless watered into the sod as soon as possible after application. At AJK Lawn, our specialists can further advise you on the right type of treatment plans for your specific lawn.
Follow these key points to achieve a thicker, greener, and denser low water lawn:
- Water deeply and infrequently - only when required
- Weekly mowing while maintaining a 3 inch height
- Introduce a customized lawn care treatment plan for your lawn