Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cut Your Water Bill This Summer with Easy Lawn Tips

I've never understood the American obsession with the vast green lawn. It requires massive investment of resources -- time, water, fertilizer -- and in return you get a yard that looks like it would be great to do something on ... but you can't because the lawn is so delicate that anything but brief traffic could kill it.

But The Green Miles is a realist and knows he's not going to convince you to convert that lawn into a
Backyard Wildlife Habitat today. So instead, here are a couple of quick tips to keep that iconic green lawn while cutting your water bill and your environmental impact.
  • Use a soaker hose. The slow-drip is much more efficient than sprinklers, which can lose as much as 70 percent of their water to evaporation and runoff. One additional benefit - no spray means leaf diseases are kept in check. I don't know which brand is best, but here's a link to a soaker hose made from recycled rubber.
  • Water before 8am or after 6pm. Water at midday and you'll lose as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation.
  • Water in short spells. Since you're just trying to saturate the top few inches, lawns absorb water better in a few ten-minute segments than in one half-hour stretch.
Grist has more tips for greening your lawn.
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