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Lawn & garden tips to conserve water

Lawn watering

Water only when necessary, and according to the County’s water conservation program guidelines.

Remember, a brown lawn isn’t always a dead lawn. Brown lawns can recover their green colour after rainfall and cooler weather. 

  • Promote a healthy lawn by aerating and mowing no shorter than 7.5 cm.
  • Avoid frequent watering. Watering too often causes your turf to develop shallow roots, making it more vulnerable to dry conditions. One inch or 2.5 cm (including rainfall) per week is plenty.
  • It’s time to water when grass turns grey‐green and footprints remain when you walk across the lawn.
  • If most of the lawn looks green, only water the dry spots.
  • Water early in the morning or late at night to avoid evaporation.
  • Avoid using a lawn sprinkler. A single lawn sprinkler spraying 19‐litres per minute uses more water in half an hour than 10 toilet flushes, two 5‐minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of laundry put together.
  • If you must use a sprinkler, use a low rise sprinkler head. Make sure you’re not watering sidewalks and driveways.
  • When reseeding or planting, consider drought‐resistant grasses, which are often more resistant to insects and disease.

Gardening tips

  • Consider alternatives to lawns, such as naturescaping or xeriscaping, which uses water efficient plants in mixed woodlands, rock gardens, etc.
  • Group plants according to their water use to reduce the chance of damage due to over-watering.
  • Look for plants with grey, fuzzy, waxy, or finely divided leaves, which are the most drought tolerant. Plants with larger leaves generally require more water.
  • Place mulch around trees and plants to keep moisture in and reduce evaporation.
  • Collect rain water using barrels and other rain harvesting equipment.

Adapted from Region of Waterloo


More about lawn and garden care

Water-efficient landscaping booklet - Ontario Clean Water Agency

Water-saving tips for your lawn and garden - CHMC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Water-wise gardens - Region of Peel