Benefits of Thoughtful Lawnscaping
As with all other landscaped areas of your land, the benefits of following these guidelines are the same.
- Beautifully thriving
- Low (or Lower) Maintenance, depending on turf type
- Low (or Lower) Water-use, depending on turf type
- and Ecologically Friendly
Plus one additional benefit -- envy of your neighbors!
Ways to Conserves Water in your Lawnscape
- Reduce areas of high water-use groundcovers to no more than a third of the landscape.
- Use a variety of buffalo grass for the most efficient use of water.
- Amend the soil properly for your turf type.
- Avoid creating lawn berms for high water-use plants, especially bluegrass and fescue.
- Avoid placing turf in narrow strips between streets, sidewalks and strips less than 10 feet wide.
- Also avoid placing turf next to surfaces that reflect summer’s heat, such as the driveway, or narrow strips between buildings and sidewalks.
- Avoid placing turf at the bottom of slopes where it meets the sidewalk. Low water-use plants that are terraced at this lower end are a better choice for conservation of water and long-term maintenance.
- Create buffer zones of low water-use plants next to sidewalks, driveways, etc. to avoid irrigating the concrete.
- Irrigate in the morning and early evening to minimize evaporation.
- Irrigate for longer periods, less often to encourage deeper root growth/drought tolerance.
- Avoid watering on windy days.
- Choose a sprinkler system that sprays water closer to the ground, not high into the air. Adjust sprinkler for larger droplets. Drip irrigation is the most efficient for water conservation.
- Know how long your watering system takes to water an inch. Test for uniformity.
- Set timers to avoid over watering.
- Adjust timers with precipitation received, and with the seasons.
Practical Turf Areas Overcome Extreme Conditions
Our extreme conditions can be easily overcome by installing low water-use plants that are suited to our climate and conditions, whether it is a variety of buffalo grass, a low water-use groundcover, or a shortgrass prairie. Using plants native and adaptive to one’s region is always the lowest maintenance and most water conserving way to go. Properly amending the soil will allow them to be healthy and thrive beautifully.
If you decide to commit yourself to a higher maintenance lawn scheme, limit those areas to a third of the landscape. Avoid high water-use turf on berms and in narrow strips close to hot areas -- sidewalks, driveways, streets and heat reflection from buildings. Low water-use plants are a better choice for these areas.
Follow the 10 guidelines to establishing the lawn and maintaining it for a healthier and more beautifully thriving lawnscape. Proper amending with organic and inorganic matter is a key to overcoming soil and climate deficiencies for some turf choices. The 10 guidelines aid you in providing conditions necessary for the plant (rather than the gardener forcing the lawn to the gardeners will).
- The Perfect Texas Lawn, by Steve Dobbs, Cool Springs Press, 2002.
- Gardening With Prairie Plants, Sally Wasowski, University of Minnesota Press, 2002
- The Wild Lawn Handbook, Alternatives to the Traditional Front Lawn, Stevie Daniels, Macmillan, 1995.