Water-Wise Landscapes in Georgia

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Map Source via the UGA Extension Office Bulletin 1444 from June 2015

Terra Bites Lawn Service, based in Braselton, Georgia, knows how much work it takes to keep your lawn watered during our hot summer months. However, what if we told you there was a way to have a beautiful landscape that saves you effort, money and uses less water? This is possible to have by creating a “Water-Wise Landscape.”

Creating a Water-Wise Landscape

Water-wise landscapes are designed to use water strategically and wisely. To create these types of landscapes, follow the seven steps below from the UGA Extension. Of course these steps are only just scratching the surface of this process, for more extensive instructions, please refer to the UGA Extension Article on water-wise landscapes.

water map

Map Source via the UGA Extension Office Bulletin 1444 from June 2015

Planning & Design: The actual planning and designing of your water wise landscape can be a bit overwhelming. You’ll need to analyze your landscape, draw a base map of the characteristics of your yard (like existing trees, plants, gardens, ponds, etc.), include drainage patterns, direction of seasonal winds, desirable views of property; you will also need to split the map into zones keeping in mind the sun, shade, went, heat, use areas, and other features of your property. To create a proper water wise landscape your property should be zoned in a 10/30/60 manner, meaning 10 percent of the landscape should require frequent water use, 30 percent or less should require occasional water use and 60 percent or more shade require very and infrequent water use. As this step is one of the most critical, do not hesitate to get help planning and designing your landscape from a lawn care professional.

Soil Analysis: it is important to analyze the soil in your landscape before getting started. Good soil quality is important and can make the difference to whether or not your landscape plants grow or fail. Be sure to analyze various sections of your property, as most landscapes have several different types of soil. If you’re unsure how to analyze your soil that your local garden center or call an expert like those at the UGA Extension Office. Once you have discovered what your soil needs, correct it by adding topsoil, fertilizer or other nutrients.

Plant Selection: when choosing your plans, be sure that you are choosing plans that will thrive in the zone you have selected to be planted in. For example, choose plants that prefer dry conditions for higher areas and choose plants that prefer moist soils for low and flat areas that are more likely to hold water.

Turfgrass: For recreational areas in your landscape, choose turfgrass that requires less water in the right conditions; some of these turf grasses include: bermuda grass, centipedegrass, St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, and tall fescue.

Efficient Irrigation: The goal of a water-wise landscape is to minimize watering; do this by sectioning plants into water use groups as mentioned before. A few tips for setting up your irrigation system, include: setting up irrigation based on plant needs instead of a set schedule, using a range of sensors, using appropriate irrigation applicators, avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, and by following good overall gardening practices.

Mulch: If you’ve read our blog before you know that mulch gets a lot of mention when it comes to retaining moisture in your soil, and the same is true now. Mulch really is one of the better things you can do for your landscape whether it is a water wise landscape or not.

Growing & Maintenance: Once you are water-wise landscape is complete, all you need to do is let it grow for awhile. Monthly maintenance may include mowing your turfgrass, lightly pruning your plants, the occasional use of organic fertilizer, and a aerating your turf grass. It is also a good idea to test your soil every two – three years to make sure everything is still on the right track.

We at Terra Bites Lawn Service hope that this helps to give you an idea of how to create a water-wise landscape. Although it may seem to be a huge undertaking (and in some cases it is), it can be well worth it in the end when you consider the time, effort, money and water you will be saving!

For more information, or to schedule lawn care or weed control, please contact Terra Bites any time!