Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Residential Water Use Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Your landscape includes your lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetable garden, and groundcovers. The lawn is likely a prominent part of your landscape. While the lawn may need watering and frequent care, it adds beauty to the community and a well-maintained lawn offers many benefits:

  • absorbs rain water runoff
  • decreases soil erosion
  • promotes neighborhood pride
  • reduces the urban heat island effect
  • increases property values
  • provides space for recreation and relaxation

Lawns, Water Quality and Phosphorus Fertilizer

Fertilizer on the sidewalk
Phosphorous is an essential plant nutrient. Phosphorous can also lead to impaired water quality in surface water like lakes and ponds. Applying phosphorous responsibly is important to turfgrass growth and to water ecosystems.

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Gaps and Overlaps in Lawn Irrigation

Dry spot due to lack of overlap in irrigation

All lawn sprinkler systems, whether they are in-ground or above ground, have flaws.  Some of the biggest are gaps and overlaps.

Actually, a well designed irrigation system, or the use of above ground spray heads utilizes overlaps in the form of “head-to-head coverage”.  This involves water from one head spraying all the way to the adjacent head and vice versa.  Since twice as much water is applied near the head as is at the end of the water stream, an even amount is applied if the system has good head-to-head coverage.

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Nitrogen Fertilizer for the Lawn, Not the Street

Fertilizer spilled on concrete
Fertilizer spilled on concrete. Photo by Brad Jakubowski, Penn State University

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Irrigation Audits Helpful

Irrigation audit
Lawns need about one inch of water per week. During the hottest part of summer, they may need one and a half inches. Do you know how much water your irrigation system applies? Lawns require uniform watering so one area is not under watered while another is overwatered. Do you know if your system waters uniformly? Lawns are best watered deeply but infrequently. Do you know what this means and if you’re watering program meets this recommendation?

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Landscape Irrigation

Screwdriver testing moisture content
Currently most of southeast Nebraska is in the ‘Moderate Drought’ level on the drought monitor. As we move into the spring and summer we could see the drought continue and irrigation will be critical.

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