When it comes to watering a lawn during the cooler months of the dry season, lawns and gardens do better when they are watered less.
That’s the message that Townsville City Council is spreading with a dry season water conservation campaign.
Townsville’s climate is known as the dry tropics, meaning the city typically receives less rainfall and has very high evaporation rates.
Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said it is important to understand how lawns and gardens naturally respond to cooler weather.
“As our dry season and cooler nights kick in, lawn growth slows down and becomes dormant as part of the natural cycle,” Cr Cook said.
“As nights become cooler, lawns have naturally slowed their growth, so adding more water will not wake a dormant lawn.”
Cr Cook said a strong root system in your lawn is important and a deeper soaking , less often, encourages stronger roots and reduces weeds.
“Everyone plays a role in conserving water, and watering a lawn every three days is sufficient for any lawn during the dry season.”
To support the water conservation message, Council holds events like the annual Sustainability House Open Day and the Our Townsville Expo where, as part of the Sprinkler Swap, residents can exchange inefficient garden sprinklers for more water-efficient models.
“A sprinkler that waters low and slow is the most effective in getting water to the roots because it provides the same benefit as rainfall,” Cr Cook said.
“Watering no more than every 3 days, adjusting our irrigation systems accordingly, and not watering between 9am and 4pm helps make full use of the water we apply to our lawns and gardens.”
Quick tips for dry-season lawn care:
- Skip a watering day to encourage deeper root growth so they reach deeper into the ground for stored water.
- Using less water to reduce weeds which means less dependence on pesticides.
- Healthy lawns need only 25mm of water per week.
- Test your soil pH levels and adjust if necessary. Lawn experts recommend a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
- If you are growing in clay soil, use gypsum to improve water infiltration to build a strong lawn.
- In September, when warmer conditions return, fertilise your lawn as growth picks up.