How to Maintain Your Lawn During a Drought

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RENO, NV - It's obvious that the cure for a dry lawn is water, but during a drought, it's even harder to get. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is asking you to reduce your outdoor water usage by 10% starting now. However, just because you have cut back, it doesn't mean your lawn has to suffer.

Brandon Pearce waters his lawn every other day for about 20 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night

"We're just hand-watering a couple of times a week mainly just keeping the fruit trees and the flowers alive," he said.

It's enough to keep the plants alive, but is it enough for the grass?

"Basically, you want to water enough so that the moisture can get about 6 inches in the ground, about four to six inches deep," Steve Packer, Moana Nursery plant doctor said.

Volume can be hard to measure; it all depends on your sprinkler system and the type of soil you have.

'If you have like impulse heads or rotary, that can be anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes," Packer added.

Clay soils absorb more water, while sand soils are more porous and need more water.

"Your lawn needs about one inch to a half inch of moisture per week, so it all depends on how many gallons your spray puts out," he said.

Washoe County has set up a website that can do all the math for you. Just plug in your sprinkling system's information and it will calculate how long you should be watering your lawn.

The best times to water your lawn is before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m.

"It's not as windy, it's not as hot, so you're not really losing a lot of water to transpiration or evaporation from the heat," said Packer. "It's just getting down to the soil."

In the end, watering for less than 30 minutes for three times a week is plenty to keep your grass green.

"The watering you do should be sufficient to keep your lawn looking nice even during a drought."