Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Save Water this Winter – Avoid Planting Winter Rye Grass

It may look lush, but Rye Grass could end up costing you water and money this winter

It may look lush, but Rye Grass could end up costing you a lot of  water and money this winter.

Water conservation is getting a big push in the City of Southlake beginning in 2016. As part of an ongoing effort to promote stewardship of water resources, the City will be rolling out a comprehensive campaign aimed at educating residents on responsible water use.

The goal of this effort isn’t just about water conservation, however. It’s also about helping residents save money by providing information and the tools necessary to make water conscious decisions in your day-to-day lives. In short, the motto for 2016 is “Save Tarrant Water”

Even though the official kick-off of this campaign doesn’t happen until 2016, you can start making water wise decisions right now. With the fall season upon us – even though the temperatures would lead you to believe otherwise –  many area residents are starting to think about transitioning from their summer landscape in preparation for cooler weather.

The “go to” grass in this landscape transition is usually fescue, better known as “winter rye.” However, you may want to reconsider planting new grass this fall and just let your existing lawn go dormant until spring. Here’s why:

  • Cool season grass species require regular irrigation (more water = more money) to maintain during the winter months. With the City in permanent twice a week watering restrictions, you may end up using more water than what’s permitted and a watering exemption will be needed to be filled out. The better solution is to allow your lawn to go dormant as the weather cools, turn off your sprinkler controller for the season and save water and money!
  • By not over-seeding with cool season grasses, warm season species (such as bermuda and zoysiagrass) grow back thicker and healthier after their return from winter dormancy because they aren’t having to fight against cooler season grasses for essential nutrients.

As the temperatures decrease this fall season, so too can your water use by letting your grass go dormant and turning off your sprinkler controller. Save water and save money by avoiding winter rye!

For information, helpful tips and to know what the City is doing to save water, visit the Public Works Department Water Conservation page here.  Stay tuned in 2016 to see what you can do to “Save Tarrant Water.”