California is an amazing state with some of the best and brightest people in the entire world that live here. Unfortunately that same great weather and beautiful landscape that attracts those people can sometimes turn on us and right now the state is in a historical drought that is causing lawns to dry up, toilets to be flushed less often and communities to work hard to conserve what water they can.
For my own part, I've taken shorter showers and washed the car less (even though it is super dusty now and doesn't look nearly as good as it should). However, one sacrifice that is more difficult for many people is a green lawn and so people are breaking the law to water the grass and others are simply watching as it turns into a brown mess with hard, caked soil below it.
Until recently, I didn't even know that there was an option to help maximize what limited watering we are allowed to do, and that's Scotts® brand EveryDrop™. This new product is a water maximizer for lawns and landscapes that is designed to help home owners make the most of available water by moving water into the soil - even where the soil is extremely dry and hard-to-wet. By helping get more water into the soil it is less likely to be wasted through run-off and pooling where the water will simply evaporate.
For maximum results, homeowners are encouraged to keep the lawn and plants strong by feeding them with Scotts® and Miracle-Gro® as well.
When used properly, homeowners using EveryDrop can use up to 25% less water, but here's some additional water conservation tips.
Water in the Morning:
By watering in the morning, you give the plants the best chance to absorb the water since it is cooler and less likely to evaporate. Additionally, standing water in the evening and overnight can lead to fungus that may damage the already weakened plants.
Set Your Mower Blade Higher:
While we all love short trimmed lawns, by cutting the grass a little higher it gives the ground a bit of extra shade and the grass can send its roots deeper. Deeper roots give the grass a better chance to find water compared to those that are shallow.
Add Extra Mulch to Plant Beds:
Adding mulch to plant beds is a great way to help keep moisture from evaporating and can help catch rainwater before it runs off.
Nothing drives me more crazy than people that water the sidewalk and the street. When I lived in Chicago and water was plentiful this was "annoying" but now it is disrespectful, costly, and wasting a precious resource that we all are dependent on.
Check for Water Leaks:
Leaks happen, but make sure to check your hoses and sprinkler heads to see if maybe they are leaking.
Avoid Watering on Windy Days:
Windy days give water more chance to evaporate as well as blowing the hose stream off target, so wait for when it is less windy before watering.
Help Your Neighbors and Community by Reporting Leaks:
This may be one of the more controversial ways to help conserve water but I'm a firm believer that we all need to work together and a water leak like the one above can waste hundreds of gallons of water. Plus, in this case, there's a good chance that the business owner didn't even know about it since the sprinklers go on automatically every night when no one's around to check on it.
If we all work together, we can get through this tough period and make some fundamental changes that help make future droughts less severe. In my experience, private homeowners are doing a great job of taking this drought seriously and it's great that there is another tool to help them, instead of illicitly watering their lawns while hoping their neighbors don't find out.