6 Tips To Keep Your Lawn Green while Selling Your Home during a Drought

6 Tips To Keep Your Lawn Green while Selling Your Home during a Drought

Tip #3: . Mulch Well, Mulch Often
A thick layer of mulch will help to reduce evaporation, improve water penetration in addition to moderating soil temperature.

As the California drought begins to take its toll on Californians everywhere with suggested or mandated water restrictions, you may be wondering how to preserve your lawn.

This might be especially pertinent if you are trying to sell your home. How is a brown, or is it golden, yard going to affect the value of your home?  Potential buyers may wonder how much it will cost to replace the lawn or restore it to its natural lush greenness.

There is no contest that a well-manicured and landscaped lawn is definitely attractive and may impact the value of a home.  So what do you do if your lawn no longer looks as picture perfect as it once did?

For those whose water is provided by East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), there are rebates for lawn conversion and irrigation upgrades.  For single and multi-family (four or less units) residential homes, owners are eligible to receive up to $2,500 in rebates through: conversion to drip irrigation, converting lawns to sustainable landscapes, replacing sprinkler nozzles with high efficiency versions, or installing a self-adjusting irrigation system. These are just a few examples of improvements that result not only in water conservation but water savings, as well.  View their brochure to learn more.

If your water is serviced by Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), then you probably already know that mandatory water restrictions are in effect. Customers are being asked to use 25% less water overall and may receive a free water audit to help identify areas to improve and reduce waste.  In addition, DSRSD customers may create a free account with Aquahawk to learn how much water they are using and help lower bills.

But what if you’re monitoring your water consumption, had a water audit, and are doing as much as economically possible to use less outdoor water?

Here are six tips to help keep your lawn green during a drought:

1. Compost
Ideally done in Fall and Spring, blanketing your lawn with a thin layer of compost rejuvenates the soil and improves the lawn’s ability to hold water. Tip: less is more and when blanketing your lawn with compost make sure that you can see that the tips of the grass are poking through the compost.

2. Let it Grow
With Summer heat revving up, you may want to adjust your lawn mower to a higher level. By keeping the level of grass of higher, you reduce the chance of sunburned roots. Think of higher grass levels as sunblock.

3. Mulch Well, Mulch Often
A thick layer of mulch will help to reduce evaporation, improve water penetration in addition to moderating soil temperature.

4. Grasscycling
Or the art of leaving grass clippings on the lawn.  Hmmm, so all those times I forgot to rake up the grass after mowing the lawn was actually helping the grass.  According to The Lawn Institute: “The fertilizer content of typical grass clippings (by percent of weight) is: Nitrogen (N) = 4%, Potassium (P) = 2%, and Phosphorus (K) = 0.5%. Grasscycling throughout the mowing season can actually reduce your need for fertilizers by as much as 25%. Grass clippings […90% water] are thus too valuable to throw away.”

5. Alternative Water Sources & Reduced Watering
You probably are already conserving water in your home by washing only full loads and taking shorter showers. However, what about your dishes? Dishwasher, yes but do you routinely rinse things out? All of that water going down the drain has potential to be recycled into your lawn with a little extra effort.  Place a large bowl in your sink and start the habit of rinsing and/or hand washing with a biodegradable soap over that bowl.  When it is full you may either transfer the water to a larger container or simply use it to water some deserving plant or patch of lawn.


6. Know your Soil & Water Smart
Sand, Clay, Silt? Knowing what type of soil you have and how it likes to be watered will save time, money and water!  Most lawns in the San Ramon Valley are clay packed. Soil comprised of clay particles tend slowly absorb water and, therefore, should be watered for shorter durations of time.

During this extreme drought, incorporating the above tips may not be enough and your lawn may not look as lush as you might wish.  However, rest assured you lawn will recover and any efforts you are able to make will help save the potential buyer additional costs that, in turn, help you sell your home in this current market.