Will you go golden this summer?

5 go-to tips to love your lawn without wasting water

How much water do you use in a day?

According to the Capital Regional District (CRD), the average here in Greater Victoria is about 230L per person per day.

The biggest draw on water each summer? Lawn care, by far.

And while it’s no surprise that outdoor water use jumps as temperatures rise, how you water at home can have a big impact on the CRD’s ability to meet our region’s water needs over many long, hot summers to come.

But it rains half the year…why does conservation matter?

Remember May’s record dry days?

While our wet winters make it easy to dismiss the need for water conservation, adapting to climate change and a growing population by reducing our per capita water usage will ensure our region is prepared for longer, drier summers now and for future generations.

So, when it comes to your lawn, what can you do?

1. Go golden: The best way to conserve water is to let your grass go golden. Lawns not watered during summer will naturally go dormant but will green up again with autumn rains.

2. It only takes an inch: One inch of water per week from either rainfall or watering is all the water your lawn needs to stay healthy, and remember, more is not better. More than an inch of water risks weak, shallow roots and damage by fungus, weeds, diseases and pests. Keep track of how much water your lawn is getting with a free gauge available from the CRD at 625 Fisgard St. in downtown Victoria or in View Royal at 479 Island Hwy. Call 250-474-9684 for details.

3. Make every drop count: To get the most from your inch of water, turn on the tap before sunrise to ensure the water isn’t lost to evaporation. This not only conserves water supply, but also saves you money on your water bill!

Watering in multiple shorter bursts also allows the water to soak into the soil without running off, promoting deeper roots and healthier plants. So instead of watering a single area for 15 minutes, set your sprinklers to water for three, five-minute periods a few minutes apart.

4. Get the perfect cut: Sharpen and adjust your mower blades to cut grass a little longer (7 to 8 centimetres or 3 inches) and leave short clippings on the lawn as a natural mulch to retain moisture – you can water less often and you’ll have fewer weeds!

5. Fix your leaks: Check your hoses and connections regularly and repair leaks as soon as you find them – even a small leak can waste up to 1,000 litres of water a month! If you have in-ground irrigation, take a look for broken or misaligned heads when the system is running.

Stage 1 of the CRD’s watering schedule is in effect. Learn more online to be water smart this summer!

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