Here are some helpful hints to keep your functional grass alive during drought cycles:
Go for Golden Grass in the Golden State in the Summer. Decrease the number of minutes your sprinklers run. Grass with a little golden tone to it requires 25 to 30 percent less water than bright green grass. Hand water any drier patches a couple times per week.
Water deeply, but infrequently. Grass grows deep, healthy roots when you water deeply but infrequently. Frequent, shallow watering causes shallow roots to grow, which makes your grass susceptible to drought and other problems. Just remember to break the total irrigation time into multiple, shorter periods to avoid run-off issues.
Punch holes in your lawn. Aerating your lawn once a year will make it easier for water to soak into the ground.
Set your lawn mower to 3 or 3.5 inches high. Taller grass shades the soil keeping it cooler and protects the roots to increase the chance of survival.
Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. When mowing, leave the clipping on the lawn. Grass clippings break down quickly and return beneficial nutrients to the soil. Mow often enough so too much of the grass blade isn't removed at once. Removing too much of the grass blade shocks the grass and leaves clipping piles on the lawn that also can smother grass.
Spread mulch on bare areas. This will decrease run-off and retain irrigation water.
Consider replacing your functional turf with a more drought tolerant variety! Click here for more information.
Use a soil moisture meter. One of the best tools to ensure proper irrigation is to use a soil moisture meter on your lawn and plants. Doing so can help ensure you are not overwatering and wasting water. Be sure to check out the video below produced by Eastern Municipal Water District to learn more about soil moisture meters and how they can help ensure you are more efficient with your water use.