In the plant world all things start with the soil. Improving the water holding capacity of the soil is the key to conserving water in landscape.

The best way to do this is by adding organic matter, such as compost, to the existing soil.  In sandy soil water travels through the soil very quickly. In heavy clay soils water will not penetrate very easily and will tend to run off very quickly.  Both conditions will require watering more frequently. The addition of organic matter will aid in water infiltration and drainage and help hold water in the soil for use by the grass when it needs it.

The percentage of organic matter in the soil will determine it's water holding capacity. Even a small increase in the amount of organic matter to the soil can dramatically increase it's water retention ability. When installing new lawns it is best to add organic matter to the existing soil prior to the  installation of new sod.  The soil should be rototilled 4" to 6" deep.  Then 4 yds of organics per 1,000 sq ft of area should be added and rototilled in. Increasing the water holding capacity of the soil under lawn areas will enable the grass to go longer between watering cycles.

The water holding capacity of the soil is a key factor in determining how often a lawn needs watering. Improving the ability of the soil to retain moisture will reduce the need for additional water, helping to conserve the water used in lthe andscape.


Related Articles:
How to water your lawn more efficiently
The importance of soil preparation when installing a new lawn
5 Ways to save water with your automatic sprinkler system
 How to water your lawn when faced with water restrictions


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