Tag Archives: lawn

National Geographic’s 5 Ways to Save Yard Water

National Geographic recently posted a wise article on ways to replace your lawn with water-saving plants and other alternatives so that you don’t use as much water during this extreme Californian drought. Here is the list that they created to help you and your family save water in your home… ”

astroturf

  1. Astroturf– Made famous on sports fields, synthetic grass, or astroturf, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners, from California to Virginia. A lot of research has gone into the material in recent years, to make it softer underfoot and to reduce the temperature it achieves under intense sun.
  2. Groundcover– Instead of grass, a wide range of ground covers can be used to keep out weeds and reduce erosion, which would otherwise be a problem if people suddenly ripped out their grass. Alternatives include rocks and mulch, some of which can be locally sourced. Crushed shells are popular for properties near a beach. Sand also is an option, particularly for those going for a Zen garden look.
  3. Native plants– Many traditional nurseries offer plants that are native to a local area. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and require little or no watering to thrive, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. [They] also can provide habitat for local birds, mammals, and insects. They typically earn points for green certification systems like LEED or can help homeowners achieve a “wildlife friendly” designation from their state or a nonprofit.
  4. Drought-tolerant grasses & shrubs– In addition to native plants, homeowners also can choose from a wide range of drought-tolerant grasses and shrubs from around the world. Examples include lavender, sage, kangaroo paw, and tea tree.                                           cactusinfo
  5. Desert plants– People can exchange grass for such water-sippers as succulents and cactus. These plants are often widely available at nurseries, and they can be kept in pots and moved indoors during colder months in cooler climates. They can be used in large numbers or as accents.  “

To learn how to save water in your house as well as in your yard, visit Filtercon Technologies‘ website or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

5 Water-Saving Ways to Replace Lawns During California’s Drought. National Geographic. May 21, 2015.  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150521-turf-terminators-xeriscape-california-drought-tolerant-lawns-water-savings/

Images:

1) suggestkeyword.com

2) cactusinfo.net

Wall Street Gushes Over Gray Water

gray water

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an article about gray water. This type of recycling takes used water from bathtubs, showers, and sinks for lawn irrigation purposes. It filters the water after use and repurposes it to help lawns, gardens, and trees grow without using more water.

Californians have started to adopt this method of saving water in their homes. Businesses who sell and install gray water systems have increased their sales by 200%.  The only downfall to these systems is that they can cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000 hard-earned dollars (or more).

But to some, the cost is worth it to save our environment. Ever since the drought started to effect the West Coast 4 years ago, Californians have been finding ways to save water and cut back on consumption. Sustainable water technology has also grown exponentially. Now there are many ways to save water in your home.

An alternative to using gray water is buying a water filter system for your entire home that reuses backwash water. If your filter recycles your water before it goes through your house, you’ll be preemptively saving water and preventing your family from using tap water (which has chemicals and contaminants).

To learn more about home water filter systems, check out this site. To learn more about gray water and how it’s starting to sweep California, visit the link below for the Wall Street Journal article.

Source & Image:

Wall Street Journal. Gray Water Brings Lush Lawns Without the Guilt. 13 August 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/gray-water-brings-lush-lawns-without-the-guilt-1439474433

Fresno Cracking Down

Brown lawn

“How many times are you watering your lawn per day?” This is a question that residents of Fresno, California have been asking each other pretty often recently. Actually, not only are they asking this, but they’ve been reporting each other for over-watering. Although this may sound a bit harsh, the reality of the California drought is that people are going to have to start cracking down even harder than they have been. And it’s working for Fresno- their water consumption is down 33% after one month.

Yard

But this kind of change doesn’t come easily. Wells, a water conservation team in Fresno, has issued a little under half of all 838 penalty citations to residents who have been over-watering. The LA Times reports that, “things got serious for Fresno last summer after the city’s groundwater dropped four feet and its allocations of imported, stored water dipped from 50% from one reservoir and all the way to zero from the other.”

brown grass

So, beginning last August, residents were only allowed to water their lawns twice per day. Even in 106-degree weather, Fresno residents try to stay true to this regulation and report those who don’t. The city’s Public Utilities Director, Thomas Esqueda, is proud of the 515,000 residents of Fresno. He says that even most of the few thousand residents that were watering their lawns every day have cut back to only a couple of times a week.

Lawn appearance

Even with all of this exciting news about Fresno, Californian counties in general still have a long way to go. 97 California districts still have zero water regulations in place. Los Angeles and Long Beach have both only issued less than 10 citations. And some cities have issued none.

Sexy grass

The new mantra of Fresno, “Don’t frown on brown” needs to be more widely circulated throughout California. Awareness on drought issues and education on water usage need to be widespread. Where do we start? Well, some of us need to set our sprinklers to twice a week. Some of us need to take shorter showers. Others need to simply turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth. All of these things are helpful for using less water. We just need to take action and actually choose to do them.

Source:

“As Its Water Dwindled, Fresno Cracked Down Hard”. LA Times. 6/22/15. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-fresno-water-penalties-20150622-story.html#page=1

Images:

1) ibabuzz.com

2) http://www.angieslist.com

3) ecosalon.com

4) westphoria.sunset.com

5) vocativ.com

Hefner: Water conservation tips for the lawn and garden

wateringthepavement

Truckee Meadows Water Authority is asking residents to reduce their outdoor water use by 10 percent. What are some things you can do in your yard to accomplish this?

• Check your irrigation system regularly for breaks, split hoses or missing emitters all through the growing season. Make sure the emitters are still directed towards the intended plants. Make sure your sprinkler heads still are functioning properly and are aimed at your lawn, not the sidewalk or other paved surfaces.

• Check your hoses and hose couplings. Use washers at both ends of the hose to eliminate leaks. Use a spray nozzle at the hose end that provides a shut off. Do not let the hose run continuously while you are washing your car or hand-watering your plants.

• Don’t hose down paved or hard surfaces in your yard. If you must hose down hard surfaces, direct the wash water to your lawn or other plantings.

• If you don’t already have a drip irrigation system for your trees, shrubs, flower beds or vegetables, consider installing one. These systems can be automated with a timer to ensure adequate watering occurs and help prevent over watering.

• Direct your gutter downspouts to the landscaped portions of your yard, not a paved surface. Use what little rainwater we may get to water the plants in your landscape.

• Avoid watering your yard in the heat of the day, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and during windy conditions. Water your yard early in the morning or later in the evening. Water your lawn less often but deeply to encourage deep root growth. Sometimes, evening lawn watering can promote diseases that prefer high humidity. If you’ve had problems in the past, limit your lawn watering to early morning.

• Mow your lawn at the highest setting on your mower, ideally 3 inches or higher. Mowing high encourages deep root growth, which will help your grass tolerate heat and drought. Deep roots will enable your lawn to take up water from deeper in the soil. Mowing high also helps shade out weeds and reduces water losses from evaporation.

• Some people allow their lawns to go dormant in the heat. Lawns can survive on very little water, but when they go dormant, they turn straw colored or light brown. Some neighbors, homeowners associations and other entities don’t like to see brown lawns. But if it comes to making hard choices in your landscape, the trees and shrubs you have growing are a bigger investment than the lawn, so concentrate on watering them.

• Mulch can help reduce water losses from the soil and also reduce weeds. Apply mulch 2 inches to 4 inches thick around plants. Be careful not to pile up mulch around the stems of plants or trunks of trees and shrubs, as this can promote some insect pests and plant diseases.

• If you are designing a new landscape in your yard, this is not our first drought year and it won’t be our last. Your best bet is to design with drought in mind. Limit the turf areas. Group plants by their water needs and consider low-water use plants. Water deeply and less frequently. Install an automated irrigation system. Inspect and maintain your irrigation system regularly.

Author: Melody Hefner is the Urban IPM and Pesticide Safety program assistant for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Have a gardening question? Ask a Master Gardener at mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu.
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2014/07/18/hefner-water-conservation-tips-lawn-garden/12855121/
Picture Credit to UNCE