Water restrictions came into effect for users of the Clearwater water system on May 15. With this in mind, the District of Clearwater offers the following tips on water conservation.
Most lawns require supplementary water at one time or another. The frequency and amount of water needed depend on a number of factors including soil type. Properly constructed lawns require less frequent watering than those with poor or insufficient topsoil.
When watering, apply sufficient water to wet the soil to a depth of at least 15 cm. Depending on soil type this requires at least two cm of water, or at least one hour of irrigation with a good sprinkler. Light frequent sprinkling encourages shallow rooting and reduces tolerance for heat and drought. Excess water is also undesirable. It promotes succulent growth, which is more subject to damage by heat and disease. The amount of water delivered by a sprinkler can be determined by setting out open cans within the sprinkler pattern, and then measuring the depth of water collected in the cans after a measure period of time.
Water should not be applied on a predetermined schedule but only as needed, when the first signs of water stress are detectable. When water is in short supply the grass begins to turn slightly blue and footprints persist when you walk on the lawn. The lose turgidity and does not bounce back.
If water is in short supply and the grass is allowed to go dormant, do not water to restore growth unless the water supply can continue in adequate amounts. Once new growth occurs it will suffer serious injury if allowed to dry out again.
Lawns need only an inch of water a week to stay green, regardless of whether it comes from the sprinkler or the sky.
Raise the cutting height on your mower too; the longer turf shades the roots and crowds out weeds.