Soil and water

Master Gardening Tips for the Panhandle – Week of June 27, 2022

Lincoln, Neb. —Tips for efficient watering

What is the best way to water lawns? Here are three tips for effective watering this summer. First, only water when needed – if the grass bounces when you walk on it, wait to water. Second, water early in the morning with a pulsating sprinkler to prevent evaporation and wind loss. Third, water deeply, about one to one and a half inches of water. Place a small container near the sprinkler to help measure. Keep it green by watering efficiently and effectively.

Water consumptionHow low can you go? Panhandle’s water consumption triples in the summer, primarily for landscape watering. Save water and maintain consistently lower water usage by landscaping with native and regional high plains plants that are hardier and require less water in our climate, cutting back and replacing fresh turf with varieties warm season crops such as buffalo grass or blue grama, and creating healthy soil that retains moisture by incorporating compost. Use less water more wisely with better landscape management.

The 5 Rs of a green lifestyleAre you green? The green lifestyle pursues knowledge and practices that are both environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible. The 5 Rs of zero waste living epitomize the green lifestyle. Refuse what you don’t need, reuse what you can, reduce goods to what you really need and use, recycle what you can and rot or compost the rest. Going green saves money, resources and the environment. Which can make others green with envy.

What to do with grass clippings

Recycle, reuse or rot grass clippings. Recycle grass clippings of an inch or less by leaving them on the lawn to act as a natural fertilizer. Reuse dry clippings as mulch one to two inches thick around trees, shrubs or in garden beds to reduce weeds and conserve moisture. Or rot the clippings, mixing them with a little soil and other dry plant matter to create a rich compost. Recycle, reuse and rot grass clippings.

TsunamiIt rarely rains, so why worry about stormwater runoff? Runoff in dry climates has high concentrations of pollutants and sediments. Swales and rain gardens can slow and contain dirty runoff allowing sediment to fall. Healthy soils with native plants with deep roots provide filtration, prevent erosion and promote groundwater recharge. But the best way to protect stormwater is pollution prevention – proper waste disposal, careful use of fertilizers and chemicals, and wise water use keep pollutants out and the water clean. .