Take a look at this lawn in the photo. Located outside the WJPA building on Lake Robbins Drive, in The Woodlands, Texas this lawn has not received irrigation – except for rainwater for the last 11 months. The only water this lawn has received is from rain.

How is that possible? Good lawn practices, proper (and inexpensive) care of the soil under the turf, and only a small bit of organic fertilizer.

Here’s how it was done:

The lawn receives about an inch of compost per year. Two compost applications (each a one-half inch deep), made in October and early April, help add organic material to the soil, as well as adding essential microorganisms that assist grass roots to grow and resist disease. Once a year, again in April, a scattering of organic fertilizer is spread on the lawn.

The lawn is mowed weekly between April and the first of October. From the beginning of October, through the end of March, mowing is discontinued.

No large patch, take-all patch, sooty mold or insect problems are present.  Because of that, no herbicides, fungicides or pesticides are used or needed.

According to recent studies, soil with sufficient organic matter (about five percent of the total mass) can three quarts or more of water per cubic foot. Instead of rolling off the surface of the soil when it rains, the soil absorbs much of it. This makes the soil under the turf into a passive rainwater catchment, which grass roots can access during dryer periods.

Water stored in the soil, added to increased permeability of the soil because of the organic matter, allows grass roots to grow deeply and strong, enhancing the turf’s ability to withstand disease and pests.

This healthy lawn signifies what is possible with a small amount of work at low cost, without depending on purchased water or expensive lawn treatments.

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