5 Lawn Care Tips to Help Lower Your Summer Water Bill
By NOPEC on July 5, 2023
One of the best things about summer is admiring everyone's green grass and colorful flower beds. But, without regular watering, that lush greenery you worked so hard to achieve can easily turn brown and die (especially if you live in a climate where rain isn't plentiful).
While a perfectly manicured lawn is a beautiful sight, maintaining one can be hard on the environment as well as your wallet. With the cost of utilities rising, the following tips can help lower your water bill this summer.
1. Water your lawn and plants between 5-10 a.m. before temperatures rise.
If you water during the day's heat, you will lose more water to evaporation. Most lawns only need about 1 inch of water weekly to stay healthy. A rain gauge can be a handy tool to measure precipitation. Just remember, quick bursts of hard rain will run off before having the chance to soak into the soil.
2. Choose a sprinkler with good water pressure that sprays big water drops close to the ground.
Mist and smaller drops are more likely to evaporate before they hit their target. Soaker hoses release water closer to the ground, allowing water to get to a plant's roots and help reduce evaporation. A flow pressure gauge can help you save hundreds of gallons of water.
3. A rain-shutoff device, soil moisture sensor, or humidity sensor
in your sprinkler system can help eliminate watering when it's unnecessary by shutting itself off when a certain amount of rain has fallen. These devices generally cost under $200 to purchase and install and could save you enough water that it pays for itself within one season.
4. Don't mow your lawn shorter than 2 to 3 inches.
Keeping your grass on the longer side allows it to shade its roots and soil and prevents evaporation (reducing your watering needs). Another bonus – longer grass thwarts weed growth and lessens the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
5. Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater from your roof.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a rain barrel will save about 1300 gallons of water during peak summer months. It only takes 1 inch of rain falling on a typical 1,500-square-foot roof to generate approximately 1,000 gallons of runoff. This means most households can collect enough rainwater for their basic irrigation needs. If your goal is to rely entirely on rain barrels and turn off your tap, you'll need multiple barrels and a pumping system. Most rain barrels hold about 55 gallons of water.
If you still aren't sure if your lawn is getting enough hydration, try the screwdriver test. Take a 6 to 8-inch screwdriver and try pushing it into different spots in your yard about an hour after watering or after heavy rain. Keep your elbow at a 90-degree angle to avoid using your body weight. If the screwdriver slides in easily, the soil has adequate moisture. However, if you can't get the screwdriver all the way in, your lawn could use a drink.
Another factor that can positively impact your water bill is your landscaping. A layer of mulch around trees and plants and retaining walls to divert water will help keep moisture in the soil. If you live in an area prone to drought, choose plants and flowers with lower water requirements for survival.
To learn other ways to save money on your water bill year-round, visit nopec.org.Tags: Utility Bill, Water, Evaporation, Irrigation, Grass, Mositure, Lawn, Lawn care, Rain, Sprinkler, Garden
Categories: Energy Efficiency