August 3, 2011


Preparing Your Yard Now for Impending Water Restrictions Could Protect It…And Save You Money

The Tarrant Regional Water District is expecting to reach the trigger for stage 1 of the drought plan around September 1.  Stage 1 requires mandatory water restrictions. Once the water restrictions are in place, Arlington residents will be limited to watering a maximum of twice a week. If you’re sprinkling your lawn more than twice per week, now is the time to begin reducing your landscape’s dependence on daily moisture.

How Much Water Do You Need?

“Studies have shown that turf grass needs 1 inch of water every five to seven days in the heat of the summer if there hasn’t been rain,” said Dustan Compton, Arlington Water Utilities’ conservation program coordinator.

Deep watering infrequently (every five to seven days) creates a healthier lawn than watering more frequently for a short period, Compton continued. Turf roots grow deep into the soil when watered infrequently and then grab water deep down during dry spells rather than always expecting water from the top.

How To Prepare Your Lawn – A Quick, Easy Fix

To help your grass’ roots grow during the next month, Compton suggests a gradual decrease in the frequency of your normal watering schedule. “Start transitioning your yard by removing one of the watering days each week until you’re down to two days a week.”

You can also use the cycle-soak method. Divide your sprinkler run time in half, wait about an hour, and water again. An example cycle-soak schedule for a standard pop-up spray turf grass is to first operate at 4 a.m. for 6 minutes and again at 5:30 a.m. for another 6 minutes. (For rotary sprinkler heads, you may want to have two run times of 13 minutes.) This method reduces water runoff and allows for more water to soak deep into the soil.

What will happen if you don’t condition your landscape and the water restrictions take effect? Your lawn will exhibit signs of stress. Plus, watering less now saves you money on your current water bill.

If you’re interested in learning how to go one step further and plant low-maintenance greenery, check out Arlington’s Approved Plants List.

Other Resources

Arlington’s Lawn Watering Guide

Arlington Storm Water Education and Outreach

The Lawn Whisper’s Facebook Page – complete with tips, article links, discussions and videos. Also on Twitter: @TxLawnWhisperer.

Back to Drought Restrictions web site


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