Water Conservation and Turfgrass

For many people the idea of water conservation and lush turfgrass do not go together, but it is possible to be both responsible about water usage and maintain a healthy lawn. Minnesota is blessed with many lakes, rivers and streams, as a result, water use and conservation have been an afterthought. Although we don’t have the same water shortages in Minnesota as in other parts of the country, water conservation is an important practice to ensure that we continue to have a plentiful supply of water.

A lush, green and inviting lawn all season long is the desire of most people, and water is a major part of keeping it looking great. The water our lawns receive come from rainwater or from a combination of rain and irrigation (sprinkler) systems. During hot, dry stretches of weather, rain alone cannot keep the lawns from drying, so we must depend on irrigation to keep them green. That has become more challenging in recent years as many cities are implementing watering restrictions. These restrictions may include odd/even watering days, restricting residents to watering only during night time hours, and in some cases during extreme weather conditions, lawn watering may even be banned altogether. The reason for this is that cities get their water supply from deep wells, lakes or rivers, and as these cities grow (especially those growing rapidly), water resources can be overused and pushed to their limits.

Even with irrigation restrictions in place, it is possible to keep grass green most of the time because northern turfgrasses are strong and resilient. The key is a properly calibrated irrigation system that applies the right amounts of water at the right times. This is best achieved by having an irrigation professional audit the irrigation system to be sure the correct heads are being used and that they are putting out the optimum amount of water for the area they are covering. Another key element is to utilize a smart controller. Smart controllers adjust irrigation run times based on current weather conditions, so during hot dry weather the system runs longer than on cool days. Technology in the irrigation industry is improving rapidly and goes a long way toward practicing water conservation.

Let’s all work together to preserve our water resources. Part of this conservation starts with not wasting water through our irrigation systems.

Jeff Farrington | Account Manager
Posted 06/16/2021