Grass without Guilt = Lawn without water
Victorians can have luscious lawns and be responsible with water without feeling guilty… even during this difficult period of prolonged dry.
Turf managers at Coolabah Turf are responsibly producing a number of exceptional drought tolerant, watersmart instant lawn varieties that, once established, will survive on just one single watering a week in peak summer periods.
These innovative and environmentally friendly grass species will for many of the cooler months of the year actually not require one single drop of water.
To survive and to thrive in northern Victoria’s harsh hot climate during warmer summer months of the year, all lawns will however, still have minimal water requirements.
Despite the easing of water restrictions in all regions currently, homeowners still need to consider sustainable solutions to become independent of potable town water supplies to protect their landscape investments when our next cycle of drought returns.
Here’s a simple step by step plan to help you save water without sacrificing your green space and lifestyle choice to live in Australia’s Garden state.
Secure a water supply and storage system that will enable you to establish and sustain a lawn area. Your choices for an alternative independent water source are either a rainwater tank, a grey water re-use system, or a bore. You need to do your homework here to decide what is the best solution for you. Determining factors will include things like do you have the physical space in your yard for a rainwater tank? Can you access the shower and laundry waste pipes to connect a grey water system up? And budget – what can you afford. These questions can be answered best by going to your local professional irrigation shop where the staff are fully trained in all these areas.
Once you have ascertained how much water you can source and store, you can then work out how many m2 of lawn area will be sustainable. Firstly, you will need to calculate how much water you will need to establish a new lawn. (Refer to chart on irrigation page). Whilst established lawns require minimal watering to survive, they first must be well established in their new environment. Recent trials conducted by the University of Queensland showed that turf can be established with just 25mm of water per week in the Summer. So if you have a 50 square metre lawn area you will need 1,200 litres per week. So if you plan for an establishment period of three to four weeks, you will need a tank with approximately 5000 litres of storage capacity. Less water for establishment would be required in Spring, Autumn and Winter. Whilst this research indicates 25mm/m2/week would be adequate, we would recommend where possible for faster establishment, you make provisions for accessing 40mm/m2/week to give your turf a guaranteed kickstart to its new life in your backyard.
If you decide to use grey water you need to determine what water you have available from inside your home. Yarra Valley Water statistics show that 22% of household water is used in the shower and 18% in the washing machine this is 40% of total use that can be diverted to the garden via a grey water reuse system. If you look at your water bill it will show you your daily water use – a household that uses 1,000 litres per day will have 400 litres of water available for re-use this adds up to 2,800 litres per week – sufficient for 100 square metres of lawn establishment based on bare minimum water rates required.
If you are pursuing greywater options, check out www.lanfaxlabs.com.au to research information and ratings in popular brands of washing powers.
Choose a drought tolerant turf variety:
Enhance the quality of soil used on your prepared site to improve its ability to retain moisture and nutrients. The soil profile depth must be at least between 100mm – 150mm.
Install a sub-surface irrigation system. Speak to your local irrigation professional to seek advice on product knowledge and budget options.
Following establishment – water your lawn less frequently, but with larger quantities. This will force the roots to chase moisture further into the ground and help train your lawn to become more drought tolerant. It is not recommended that lawn areas be watered daily. Most lawns will still thrive if watered once a week.
Speak to the Coolabah Crew today to find out more information about establishing sustainable lawns in your own backyard.
If you are in the throes of building a new home on a slab, it is critical to ensure that your waste black and grey water are independently plumbed outside the slab line so you can utilize your greywater.