To water or not to water? | THE COMPLEAT HOME GARDENER

You can allow your lawn to 'go golden' or you can follow these water tips:

The first week of August is when lawns start to turn brown and flowers can grow a bit seedy. You can allow the lawn to “go golden” or brown with the dry weather and it will still green up in the fall when the rains return.

But if you decide to keep the lawn green all summer here are some watering tips:

August is not a good time to reseed, aerate, thatch or fertilize the lawn. The grass is hot and thirsty. Leave it alone except to offer something to drink.

Use an oscillation sprinkler to conserve the most moisture. This is the type that moves back and forth. Not only are oscillating sprinklers the most fun for kids to run through but they also allow water to soak in a bit before more water is applied.

If you a different type of sprinkler such as an in ground or spray sprinkler turn off the water after the first ten or fifteen minutes and let the moisture soak into the soil. Then turn the water back on for another fifteen minutes. This way the capillary action or pull of the water from the first watering session will draw the second application of water deeper into the soil.

It is better for the lawn if you water deeply but less often. Daily watering is not good for lawns in Western Washington.

If you have decent soil you may be able to water your lawn just once a week to keep it green. Just be sure you water long enough so that the moisture soaks down through the top eight inches of soil. How do you know? Dig in with a shovel after 30 minutes of watering the lawn. By removing a section of the lawn and roots you will be able to see how far down the soil has turned dark or moist.

The amount of water that comes out of the sprinkler and your type of soil determine how much water your lawn needs. For Western Washington lawns the amount is one inch of water per week.

To measure how much water your sprinkler delivers, mark an open but empty turn can with a ruler to the one inch mark. Set this on the lawn and turn on the sprinkler. When the can is full to the one inch mark, note how long it took for your sprinkler to fill it up. Now you know how long it takes your sprinkler to apply one inch of water.

If your soil is sandy or drains well you may need to water twice a week giving the lawn half an inch of water each time.

Lawn Alternatives

If a brown lawn or higher water bills do not float your boat, consider replacing your lawn with grass alternatives. Rocks and gravel with boulders may look more natural in a desert climate than in Western Washington but if you add creeping junipers, thyme, and low growing sedum groundcovers to your rock scape you can enjoy your landscape with less water.

Another lawn-free landscape design is to have mounds of topsoil added to your old lawn to make planting islands on top of the grass. After the soil settles these islands can be planted with trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers depending on the size of your yard.

The walkway between the islands can be groundcovers or gravel or wide pathways of the old lawn.

A final idea for the lawn-free front yard is to put a patio or courtyard in the front yard with planting areas around the sides and solid surface walkways that link the front courtyard to the side yards and back yard area of the home.

More in Life

Cruz the Loop and Return to Renton Benefit Car Show set for July 6, 7

Hot Rod weekend, downtown, will have some street closures.

Join author Kurt Armbruster for a discussion of his latest book, “Pacific Coast, Seattle’s Own Railroad” at 6 p.m. May 16 at the Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Pacific Coast Railroad history lesson; coffee with Renton cops

Symphony: Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Spring Masterworks Concert will highlight Tchaikovsky’s Symphony… Continue reading

Renton Rotary’s Youth of the Month for May

Five Renton students were selected as May 2019 Youth of the Month to finish off the school year.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

A look back at Black River

Renton History Museum hosts event with Seattle writer and natural history expert David Williams.

It is a busy time in the garden with planting

Near the end of April the nurseries will be overflowing with color.… Continue reading

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch in Enumclaw

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading

RHS Students gear up for Bubblin Brown Sugar dance competition

The competition is April 27 at Garfield High School.

Special police partners honored

King County Sheriff’s Office dedicates new memorial to honor K9 service dogs and handlers.

How to be a backyard micro farmer

Do you have a small space? Perhaps just a balcony or patio… Continue reading