Best Turf Practices
Use best turf practices to keep lawns healthy and reduce water needs:
Prepare soil with compost. Fall is the best time to plant
Aerate turf before summer to improve water penetration, especially on the slopes
De-thatch in fall or early spring if lawns have more than 1/2 inch thatch.Raise mowing height to 1 1/2 to 2 inches to improve rooting depth
Leave the clippings. "Grasscycling" doesn't cause thatch, but makes lawns healthier and more drought resistant. It can also reduce fertilizer needs by 25-50%
Let Your Lawn Brown
Consider letting lawns go brown. Grass naturally goes dormant in dry summer conditions, and greens up in the fall. Water dormant lawns deeply once each dry month to keep roots alive. High traffic areas should be watered more regularly.
In the fall, overseed any thin areas to bring back a lush lawn. Aerate, overseed, then top-dress with compost, and fertilize with "slow-release" or "natural organic" fertilizer.
Keep mower blades sharp, to avoid tearing and stressing the grass.
Improve Irrigation System Performance Schedule Efficiently
Irrigate between 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to reduce evaporation
Use water budget formula to determine appropriate water use
Adjust irrigation timing throughout the irrigation season
Each month check for broken heads, leaks and other major water wasting problems and fix system to avoid run-off, low-head drainage, overspray, or other conditions where irrigation water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, or impervious surfaces.
Install a rain shutoff device for each controller. For multi-controller irrigation systems, install central control systems that read real-time ET and have flow sensors. Flow sensors automatically turn irrigation systems off in the event of leaks or broken heads and locate the problem areas at the central control unit.