South Africa is feeling thirsty and with the water restrictions in place and fines for wasting water, it is natural that our lawns will suffer. Which is a pity as spending summer in the garden will feel pretty bleak if the grass is brown and dying. The weather has not been forgiving during winter and areas that were used to coming into summer green and well-watered are suffering.
So how can you save your lawn from perishing?
It is better to make preparations early as a dry hot summer could well be the end of your lawn. With the fines in place and the water restrictions, it is not a good idea to use the hosepipe and municipal to water the lawn. So you have a choice allow your lawn to go dormant or install a rainwater harvesting tank and grey water system.
Allowing the lawn to go dormant
Lawn care experts advise that in times of drought it is better to stop watering the lawn completely than water infrequently, letting the lawn go dormant. Using this strategy you have to still mow the lawn occasionally (but raise the blades so you don’t cut too much), leave the clippings on the lawn to trap moisture, keep off the lawn and pray for rain to save your lawn.
Alternatively, if you prefer a greener healthier lawn...
Install a Grey Water System
A grey water system recycles water that you will be using anyway to wash with from the bathroom and from the washing machine. The water is filtered and pumped out onto the lawn. As a family, if the bathroom and washing machine are in use daily, then the recycled grey water will be watering your lawn daily. Move the hose pipe from the grey water system around to keep your lawn watered. The best time for the grey water system to water the lawn is in the evening so time your bulk water use to coincide with the evening to allow the water to soak into the ground.
Install a Rainwater Harvesting Tank
While the grey water system does the daily job of keeping the lawn greener than the neighbors, a rainwater harvesting tank can be kept as a backup water source. When the rain does come it will be too infrequent and too little to adequately water the lawn but if collected in the water tank, you can use the harvested water to water the lawn more deeply. Once again the best time to water is a night so the water will sink into the ground and not evaporate.