For The Answer
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD,
SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of May 29, 2006
“SIP for Your Lawn”
you like most
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Visit the SAWS website at www.saws.org, click on “Conservation” and then again on “SIP.” At this site you can sign up to receive a free weekly watering recommendation by phone message or e-mail message. The recommendation is personalized for your lawn because the sign-up requires that you relate your lawn grass variety and the amount of sun the lawn receives. Homeowners who would like to use the SIP recommendation, but prefer not to receive an e-mail or phone message can listen to Gardening South Texas from noon – 2:00 p.m., either Saturday or Sunday. The program is on KLUP radio at 930 on the am dial.
Individuals who sign up to use SIP on the SAWS website will be mailed a SIP kit. The kit includes instructions and specialized rain gauges so you can determine how much water your irrigation system is applying. A SIP kit is also provided to attendees of SAWS gardening events and/or events sponsored by the Bexar County Master Gardeners and the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas who agree to follow SIP recommendations. Homeowners that follow SIP recommendations save 20% of their water use on average and have green healthy lawns.
Other things you can do to have a water efficient lawn is to have at least four inches of soil under the grass; aerate and top dress every 1 – 2 years; and water effectively.
Water effectively by repairing leaks in your irrigation system. A zoned system is more efficient than a system that waters shrubs and groundcovers at the same time as it waters lawn grass. Shrubs, trees, and groundcovers do not need to be irrigated as often as lawn grass. The new Water Conservation Ordinance requires that new homes with a lawn must have the landscape irrigated with a zoned system. If you have any questions please call SAWS, Conservation Department at (210) 233-3659.