Although water is plentiful here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it’s always a good idea to think sustainably when planning and caring for your lawn and garden. Not only will this ensure that our water supply remains plentiful for years to come, but it will also lower your utility bills!
According to UMN Extension, many of the common plants in Minnesota yards – including grass – need less moisture than we may think. In addition, some, like trees, need more! We’ll share a few tips for watering effectively and responsibly.
Lawn Watering Tips
Contrary to popular belief, grass doesn’t need much water. Only about one-quarter inch is needed per week, minus any rainfall. Run sprinklers in the early morning hours to reduce moisture loss, and water as infrequently as possible. Set the lawn mower at 2.5 inches or higher, which will allow the grass to root more deeply.
Tree and Shrub Watering Tips
To determine whether established trees and shrubs need watering, check the moisture level of the soil. Water when the top 6 to 9 inches are dry. Newly-planted trees and shrubs will need more water until they are fully established. To conserve water, choose drought-tolerant shrubs such as gray dogwood, junipers, forsythia, spirea and sumac. Drought-tolerant tree options include bur oak, tree lilac, honelocust, American bayberry and ginkgo.
Garden Watering Tips
Choose the right plants for your soil and garden conditions (your local greenhouse can offer tips). When the top six inches of soil are dry, water at the base of plants and in the early morning hours. This will help to prevent foliar diseases. Water more deeply and less frequently for healthier roots, and add organic mulch to conserve moisture.