Keeping it Green

California is experiencing a great drought and NASA expects megadroughts in our future. Organic care  could save your lawn.

California is experiencing a great drought and NASA expects megadroughts in our future. Organic care could save your lawn. (courtesy Prateek Rungta)

California is experiencing its fourth year of what many are calling “the great drought.” Climate scientists are warning that the present condition is the worst it has been in 1,200 years. Things are so bad California Governor Jerry Brown has ordered the first statewide water-rationing plan for cities.

It’s not a pretty sight and analysts are saying that it isn’t going to get better any time soon. According to a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), droughts in the Southwest and Central Plains of the United States will occur in the last half of this century leaving these regions drier and experiencing longer periods of drought than any time in the last 1,000 years.

It is not surprising that all of this will have its affects on lawns. A study performed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggested that watering lawns account for 30 to 60 percent of water consumption during the summer months alone.

It is evident that lawns are going to take a major hit in the coming years. I guess we can all say goodbye to the luscious green lawns we work so hard to attain and hello to brown, burnt-out lawns that are the nightmare of anyone who professes to have a green thumb.

Don’t worry. It’s not going to happen. But we have to do things different as far as our lawns are concerned to prevent it.

It’s time to go green. Organic lawn care is what can avert the coming disaster. Not only will this method of lawn care make it possible to keep our lawns green. It will also help get rid of the toxic pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides that have been damaging our lawns and making us sick.

It all starts with the basics –- creating a healthy soil. Test the soil for pH level to determine if you need more nutrients. Experts say that good soil has a pH level of between 6.5 and 7.

Of course, some form of fertilizer is essential once a year. Organic gurus say you can substitute the toxic variety with a quarter to a half-inch of compost or search for and use fertilizer labeled “slow release” or “natural organic.”

Select seed or sod of grass that is known to do best in your region of the country. That would be grass that responds best to the amount of water, sunshine, and temperatures that occur.

Re-learn how to mow your lawn. You may have gone for the short look. However, grass of about 2-1/2 inches to 3-1/2-inches can bathe better in sunlight, which results in thicker grass with deeper roots.

Be smart about watering. Do it only when it’s needed and use about an inch. If you use a sprinkler, put a few 1-inch cans around the watering area and time how long it takes for them to fill with an inch of water. Use the result as your guide. Let the lawn dry out before watering again. Here’s another tip. When footprints remain on the lawn after you walk on it, it’s okay to water again.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.