Follow these tips to grow a healthy lawn without wasting valuable water.
Select the right grass
When planting or laying grass for the first time, be sure to choose a species that tolerates dry conditions and is suited to your soil type. A variety of commercially available grasses are suitable for the Queensland climate and are water efficient, including Buffalo, Couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia.
Water only when needed
The greatest waste of water comes from applying too much, too often—much of it runs off. Water less frequently and more deeply to encourage a deeper root system which provides greater drought protection.
Signs that your grass is ready for irrigation include the following:
- the grass changes colour
- the soil below is difficult to penetrate using a sharp object
- your grass doesn’t spring back after being walked on.
If you observe bright-green patches in your grass or the presence of fungus (toadstools) or moss, you may be overwatering. The efficient irrigation guidelines (PDF, 6MB) provide tips for growing a healthy lawn without wasting valuable water.
Only mow when necessary
To prevent grass from drying out, keep it at least 3 cm high. This will minimise evaporation from the soil underneath and ensure the roots are sheltered from the harsh sun. Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day.
Regularly check your mower blades for wear, as grass will lose less water if it is cleanly cut rather than torn by blunt blades.
If you are fertilising your lawn, use small amounts of an organic fertiliser as this requires less water after application than a chemical fertiliser. Apply fertiliser during the spring and summer months when there is higher rainfall and the grass is actively growing.
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