As we mentioned in our previous post, xeriscaping is a responsible and easy way to save money, water, and even time. With so much of a yard’s watering requirements going to the lawn—and with much of that water and the money paid for it going to waste—it makes sense to spend some time exploring xeriscaping options and best-practices for lawns. In this post we will look at two of the biggest factors for an optimally xeriscaped lawn: selecting an appropriate grass and utilizing efficient watering techniques.
The following grasses are all suitable for water-hungry East Texas. As with most plants, some grasses thrive in shade and others need more sunlight, so you will need to consider that when determining which grass best meets your needs.
Well-Suited for Sunny Yards or Partially-Shaded:
- Bermuda Grass has good drought tolerance and produces a dense turf but has poor shade tolerance. Mow to 1 inch.
- Centipede Grass is a drought tolerant, low-maintenance grass that tolerates partial shade. Mow to 2 inches.
Well-Suited for Shady Yards
- Zoysiagrass Grass has good drought tolerance, produces a dense turf and comes in two varieties: Meyer and Emerald. Mow to 2 inches.
How to Water Efficiently
Sprinkler irrigation applies a lot of water over a large area in a short amount of time and is the most popular choice for watering lawns. However, they are also prone to the two biggest causes of watering-waste: over-watering and evaporation. Over-watering occurs when either you give your lawn more water than it needs or when you give it too much water too quickly. Additionally, the large spray area often leads to watering sidewalks, streets, and other unintended areas.
If you utilize a sprinkler system, employ the following water-saving techniques:
- Optimize the water droplet size. Set the sprinkler heads to use larger drops instead of a fog or fine mist. Fog and fine mists evaporate quickly and may be carried away from the lawn by the wind.
- Position sprinklers so that they water only the grass.
- Water in late evenings or early mornings to minimize evaporation.
Drip irrigation slowly applies small quantities of water over a small area. It utilizes a low-pressure system of emitters, bubblers, or spray heads which allows very little opportunity for evaporation or runoff. While it is a superior watering systems, if you are unfamiliar with it then you will want to consult a professional and experiment in small areas of your yard.
Do not over water. Most lawns receive twice the amount of water that they need. While it is a waste of both water and money, it is also detrimental to your lawn. Over-watering leads to shallow root systems and greatly reduces your lawn’s ability to survive a drought.
How can you tell when your lawn needs water? Watch for wilting. At the first sign of wilting, you have 24-48 hours to water it before significant harm occurs. Apply one inch of water to avoid the damage.
The right grass and efficient watering can save water, money, and time—and it can give you a great lawn in the process.
Need help with your lawn care? You can find service providers for Cypress by visiting our Service Providers page.