I thought I would change things up a bit and ask readers a few trivia questions, about topics I’ve covered in past columns.
The answers are below, but don’t read them until you’ve made a guess.
1. What is the general rule for watering your lawn?
2. What can reduce the need for watering our lawns and gardens from 30 percent to 60 percent?
3. When is the best time to water your lawn and why?
4. What items do most people waste that could have been used as mulch?
5. How is mulching our yards/landscaping beneficial?
6. When, how much and how often should you mow your turf grass?
7. In what ways can we conserve water while still using a sprinkler system?
1. One inch of water once a week on your lawn.
2. Using compost and mulch can reduce lawn-watering needs.
3. The best time to water is in the early morning before sunrise, before heat causes evaporation and winds pick up, and it lowers risk of diseases from being wet all night.
4. Wood chips, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings can be used as mulch.
5. Mulching landscapes helps retain moisture, protects from harsh temperatures (hot or cold), prevents erosion and suppresses weeds from growing and spreading.
6. How often you mow depends on the health of your grass. Mow often enough to cut only one-third of the grass blade off. Never cut low enough to see runners or bare ground through the blades. This dries out the roots quicker and allows the sun to heat up the soil’s surface temperature.
7. There are a few steps to conserve water with a sprinkler system. First, get it updated. Technology has improved greatly. Rotary heads throw larger droplets rather than the older mist types that evaporate more quickly.
Next, either invest and get a “smart sprinkler system,” which detects rainfall and moisture, or be diligent in turning your system off and back on, depending on the weather and seasons. We can’t imagine how much water is wasted when sprinklers go off during or right after rain storms.
Then, periodically inspect sprinkler heads for damage and proficiency. (I recently inspected mine and found that growing plants and thicker turf were blocking spraying heads and not only wasting water by run-off but also leaving dry patches in my yard.)
I hope you enjoyed the quiz and learned something as well.
Let’s all do our part to conserve water.
Darla Menking is a Bell County Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.