This is a sponsored post from Pennington Seed about using better growing grass seed to create a drought tolerant lawn.
As I tell you in just about every post, I live in Austin, Texas. I know I’ve described it as the hottest place on Earth and hotter than the surface of the sun. Those things are both true. And when you combine our summers of 100+ degree days and little to no rain, you have a recipe for big time drought.
Most of the U.S. suffered drought conditions last summer (I think it was something like 2/3 of the country), but it was really nothing new to those of us in Texas. We see a lot of wilted plants, dead crops and Grand Canyon type cracks in our backyards. In fact, this is an image from my side yard, where any rain we receive runs right off:
Last year, I replaced all of the landscaping in our beds with native, drought tolerant species. We survived the summer and have entered into the spring with my plantings looking as great as they did on the day that I planted them. This year, we are focusing on our lawn. We do in fact have an irrigation system in both the front and back yards (it’s pretty much mandatory for green summer lawns around here), but I do know that we probably need to work on adjusting the amount of time we water each area. Lawns require approximately 1 inch of water per week to stay green during the summer, which equates to about 2,500 gallons of water per week for an average sized lawn. Since about half of the water used outdoors is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and maintenance practices, that means that we are likely waisting about 1,250 gallons of water a week. Yikes! That’s a lot of money down the drain, so to speak.
One of the things that we are doing is spreading some Pennington Smart Seed drought-resistant seed in our “Grand Canyon” areas. They have a lot of different blends and mixes for use in different areas of the country, but we chose Bermudagrass since that’s what we have in our yard (and is what our HOA requires). This seed is supposed to remain green for up to three weeks without water, so hopefully this will help during the dry summer days that are ahead. Growing grass made easy!
This seed is really cool in that the seeds are wrapped with fertilizer and mulch. It doesn’t really look like what you’d expect from grass seed, but the extra fertilizer and mulch is supposed to help it to grow and use less water. Zack thought it looked, “Awesome!” Hey, he’s mama’s boy after all.
Emma wanted me to show you her holding the seed, too. Monkey see, monkey do. 🙂
Because we were overseeding areas in our sideyard, we mowed the grass as closely as possible and raked out the clippings. Then, we sprinkled the Pennington Smart Seed in the bare areas.
We then raked it in the best that we could and are watering it a little bit each day to keep it moist. I have high hopes that our Smart Seed will grow here in the next few weeks, so that we can keep our cracked soil at bay and better protect our home’s foundation. It should also be easier to maintain since it requires about 30% less water than ordinary seed.
Other than using a drought tolerant grass seed, there are other ways to help your landscape thrive in the hot season. The top 10 tips to create a drought tolerant lawn are:
- Once your plants are established, reduce the frequency of watering and increase the amount of water penetration. This will encourage deeper rooting, which makes your landscape more drought tolerant.
- Consider using a drip irrigation system around your trees and shrubs. These systems apply water only when needed and reduce the amount of moisture that reaches the areas between plants, thus reducing weeds. You can even use a drip system connected to a rainbarell.
- Use plants and grass that are native and come in drought-tolerant varieties.
- Don’t overwater! A lawn doesn’t actually “need” water until the color falls by 50%. At that time, you should apply 1 inch of water.
- Make sure sprinklers are watering the lawn and plants and not your street or sidewalk. This is a HUGE pet peeve I see in my neighborhood.
- Only water late at night or early in the morning. This reduces water loss from evaporation in the mid-day heat.
- Don’t water on windy days, since wind can cause water from being blown out of landscape areas.
- Adding mulch to your beds will help retain moisture. Clippings from mulching mowers serve the same purpose on your lawn.
- Use a broom to clean the lawn debris from the sidewalks and driveways instead of using a water hose.
- Fertilize your plants and lawn so that they have essential nutrients to help them grow strong and healthy – just like your kids need essential nutrients!
What are your favorite lawn and garden tips? Share them with me and be entered to win a $50 American Express gift card from Pennington Seed! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to participate in the giveaway, which will be open until 5/15/2013.
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Disclosure: Central Garden & Pet partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Central Garden & Pet believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Central Garden & Pet’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.