Australian homes use a significant amount of water usage on their gardens, especially for the lawn. Installing lawns as a groundcover remains a popular choice as it cools the home, whilst providing an area for the family and pets to play and enjoy the sunny weather. However, ensuring that your lawn is water efficient is critical in Australia’s drying climate.
See the following tips and guidelines to save water and money, whilst maintaining a green lawn during the summer months:
1. Choose the right lawn variety that is drought tolerant and suitable for Perth’s drying climate such as; soft leaf buffalo grasses, Queensland Blue, Velvetene, couch grasses, kikuyu grasses and zoysia grasses.
2. When first laying your lawn, incorporate soil amendments. Try adding the following:
- Clay or red sands to retain more moisture below the grass roots,
- quality soil wetting agent and moisture retainer (if possible), and
- a quality slow-release fertiliser.
3. Although the new lawn will require more water in the beginning to set up, this will actually make it more resilient in the long term if established correctly.
4. When using the irrigation systems, ensure the lawn is only being watered before 9am in the morning or after 6pm in the evening, minimising any water loss through evaporation and allowing the moisture to soak through the roots.
5. Turn the irrigation system off when rain is forecasted or ensure your rain sensors are in working order.
6. After your lawn is fully established, applying a good, premium soil wetting agent and soil moisture retainer system at least three to four times a year, will help you use water efficiently by improving water penetration and eliminating dry patches.
7. Mowing your lawn every seven to 21 days to a maximum height of 10-20mm during summer will prevent it from serious damage from heat, disease and weed invasion and further retain more water in the soil.