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For my Monday story about the criticisms facing water conservation, I talked to Judi O’Boyle, a North Park resident who’s trying to save by irrigating her back lawn less often.

From the story:

While they once watered their back lawn four times a week, they’ve cut it to twice weekly — a conscious effort to try to save water. “It looks awful,” O’Boyle admitted.

I heard today from Nicolai Laquaglia, a water conservation specialist in Sacramento County. He said O’Boyle’s lawn shouldn’t look bad — if she conditions it to her new watering cycle. Here’s the advice he wanted to pass along:

They must not be doing all the important measures to reduce the water use and frequency of their lawn. Root depth is the most critical of these but not the only one. … These measures include raising the cutting height to at least 3 inches, cycle and soaking the watering with 2 to 3 short watering cycles. The change to less frequent watering needs to include de-thatching and then aerating the turf to allow the water to get below the root zone to allow the roots to chase the moisture. It is then important to begin stretching the time between watering. This tells the roots to grow deeper instead of waiting at the surface for the water.

So there you go.

ROB DAVIS

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