On the 1st of September 2022, WA bore users will have their watering days reduced from three days per week to two days per week. Is a 33% drop in water usage a huge mathematical reduction? Yes. However, will that drop in water use negatively affect the health and quality of your lawn? Not if you are smart about it.
Here are 4 reasons why the WA ‘bore ban’ will not hurt smart lawn lovers and 5 examples to give you hope for the coming summer.
1. Wetting agents make a bigger difference than most people think (up to 20%)
In 2016, trials in WA conditions showed that using wetting agents can significantly improve soil moisture by 19.9% five weeks after application. Wetting agent producer SACOA (the makers of BioWett, Ralphy’s Refresh and more) released these figures on their website.
The reality is that it doesn’t matter how much water you put on your lawn. What truly matters is how much of that water actually makes it down to the root zone where it is needed.
There are many WA homeowners who will be shocked to find out just how much of the water they put on their lawn is being lost to evaporation and run-off. In most cases, the regular use of a quality wetting agent alone could make such a positive difference that a third watering day would not be missed.
2. Regular aeration makes your roots go deeper
Aeration reduces soil compaction. This, in return, increases water and nutrient uptake into the soil (10-30%). In addition, a huge benefit to reducing soil compaction is an increased root system.
In 2013, researchers showed that the harder a soil is to penetrate (caused by soil compaction), the less roots there will be.
Deeper roots means there is more water and nutrient uptake. I believe that many lawn lovers in WA will get a more beautiful lawn from two days watering with aeration and wetting agents than three days of bore watering only.
3. Quality fertilisers increase root growth
Urea and other nitrogen-only fertilisers are overused in lawn care. Whilst they cause beautiful green colour and increase leaf growth, they have no benefit at all for the roots or the stress-tolerance of your lawn.
Complete, high quality fertilisers (like WA-produced Baileys and Eco Growth) have a balanced blend of macro and micro nutrients that will help your lawn grow healthier, not just greener. The results of regularly using these high quality products will be a more drought and stress-tolerant lawn, even with reduced watering days.
4. Less frequent, more effective watering produces healthier roots and a more drought-tolerant lawn
The more frequently a lawn is watered, the less need there is for the lawn to send down roots deeper into the soil. This results in a shallow root system.
The more shallow the roots, the more susceptible the lawn is to heat and drought stress. This is because soil on or close to the surface is more likely to experience evaporation, temperature change and drying out.
Consequently, the roots in these surface areas are more likely to become stressed and damaged. If too many roots are in these areas, the result will be a stressed or even dying lawn.
Deeper roots are shielded from these problems; this results in healthier, happier lawns during hot spells.
5 examples of great lawns on two watering days a week
I wanted to finish by giving some hope to WA residents. Whilst we could write about lawn care for days and explain the pros and cons of each service, I thought it would be simpler to just show the results.
Here are five lawns. Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo lawns to show that success isn’t grass specific. All these lawns are on two days a week watering, these photos have been taking between October and May not during the winter months. All of these lawns are maintained by Silverstone Gardening and have received all the services mentioned above. The results speak for themselves.
There will be some WA gardeners who will be hurt by this decision but it won’t be the smart and proactive lawn lovers.
If reading this article seemed like too much effort, too complicated or you just want some help, contact us today.
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