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Lawns & Landscaping

Lawns maintenance

  • Grow your grass a little bit longer in summer. Taller grass will stay greener for longer. Keep up with mowing to help control any weeds.
  • Let the lawn go brown in summer - it won’t die off completely but will spring back to life when it rains again.
  • Service your lawnmower annually to keep the blades sharp —a clean cut helps reduce water loss from grass.
  • Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
  • If laying a new lawn, consider warm season drought-resistant grasses that can withstand summer temperatures and don't need watering. (Autumn or early spring is the best time to establish a new lawn. Don’t try to lay a new lawn during summer.)
  • Consider using a natural soil enhancer like biochar (a form of charcoal) for your lawn and plants. Biochar helps build a stronger and deeper root system to keep your lawn healthy year-round.

Landscaping / general outdoors

  • When planning or revamping your outdoor landscape, consider using materials that allow rain to soak into your soil and garden.
  • Crushed shells, pebbles, gravels, permeable pavers and mulch are good materials to use and can help reduce flooding and pooling during heavy rainfall. It also eases the load on storm water drainage systems.
  • When paving, use porous material or ground cover in the gaps instead of mortar. This helps counter the warming effect of pavers and provides another way for rain to soak into the soil.

Where to plant

  • Position plants with similar watering needs together (called hydro-zoning) - this enables you to water them more effectively.
  • Put plants close together so they create their own shade for the soil and reduce evaporation.
  • Keep plants with high water needs, such as vegetables and herbs, near the house so they can be watered with greywater collected from the shower or stored rainwater.
  • If you are planting on a sloping section, proper grading allows water to soak into the soil and be used by plants rather than running off your section.

Other top tips

  • Use a broom and/or bucket to clean hard surfaces such as footpaths and driveways.
  • Wash your car/boat/caravan and pets on an area of lawn – this helps prevent soapy water and chemicals running into the drain and straight to the river untreated.
  • Check for dripping taps and obvious leaks on your property and get these fixed as soon as possible.

Jared's new lawn story

Back in April 2021, I put down new grass seed for my front and side lawn.   I didn't want to over-water my lawn and cause seed to wash away so I bought a B-Hyve smart hose tap timer with wifi hub.

The hub is great as it will delay watering if rain is forecast.  I can also override manually should the forecast be inaccurate. I also like it as I can turn the tap on and off using my phone.

When water alert levels are in place, I can add the restrictions to the hub so I don't even have to think about whether I am watering at the right time of day or the correct day of the week.

During my lawn journey, I have learnt the importance to water longer and less often to help send the roots as deep as possible. Deep rooted grass helps the plant survive longer in drought periods.  I also purchased a granular wetting agent  that sucks 5x more water helping to keep the roots moist for longer particularly during hot spells.

I have learnt that it's best to water in the mornings here in the Waikato where we have high humidity and high night time temperatures in the summer. When there was rain in the evenings this brought on fungus and affected the lawn quality (which required me to purchase fungicide).

I enjoy maintaining my lawn but I also value water and try to use it as efficiently as possible.  

How much water does your sprinkler use?

How to measure the water output of your sprinkler

Ever wondered how much water your sprinkler really uses? Find out how to do a simple catch can test, and you'll be in the know!

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