6 Things You Must Know About Low-Water Lawns

How to cut your water bill and still enjoy an attractive yard.

1. Turn off the spigot.

U.S. homeowners saturate their yards with about one-third of the water they buy from their water utility—-an average of 29,000 gallons a year—-and in some areas, it’s half or more. Even in drought-stricken California, grass doesn’t need daily watering to survive and thrive, and it might do well enough with none, says Dr. Jim Baird, a turf-grass specialist with the University of California at Riverside. Ask a local expert how often and how much you should water the type of grass in your yard, and turn off the sprinkler entirely during your region’s wet season. One simple test: If you step on your grass and it springs back, it doesn’t need watering.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.