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Utah News

Keeping Up With Your Lawn During The Drought

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Water levels in Utah have gone down 14% in the past year and when the winter didn’t bring in much snow packs, Gov. Spencer Cox signed a new drought executive order. With warm weather just around the corner, how can we keep our lawns green while still being mindful of water use?

Water, essential for life for us, animals, and plants. Our lawns are no exception. Earlier this month, Gov. Spencer Cox issued a drought executive order declaring a state of emergency. 

Laura Haskell, the Drought Coordinator with the DNR said the dryness came on suddenly around last March. 

“We'd hoped to get a very good snowpack to help offset that. The snowpack has been just sort of mediocre, not quite what we'd hoped,” said Haskell.

Throughout this week, northern Utah has seen a mixture or rain, snow, clouds, and sun. While this helps water levels, the DNR said that still need to take steps towards preserving water. 

Now if you look out at your lawn right now, you may notice it may look a little brown and patchy. While it might be tempting to water your lawn, turf experts such as Kelly Kopp said you should try to hold off on this. 

Kopp said, “the main issue with watering too early is simply that the plant is not physiologically ready to use that water. And so what can happen then is that water can actually either run off or move through the root zone and be unavailable to the plants.”

Right now, your grass is dormant. Kopp said that you should try to hold off on watering this grass until at least Memorial Day. 

“But keep in mind that if it's very hot and dry before that, you would need to adjust, but it's a good rule of thumb,” siad Kopp.

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Credit https://conservewater.utah.gov/guide.html
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When it becomes time to start watering your lawn, there are also steps that can be made to save water. 

Haskell said, “we're hoping that people can just put that off as long as possible because each lawn watering will save about 3000 gallons of water to each one that we put off.”

The DNR offers many resources and rebates for saving water, even for on your lawn. One especially helpful resource is a lawn irrigation map that can help guide you on when and how much to water your lawn based on where you live in the state.