METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Weather and climate will have a significant influence on the vegetation in the yard, the amount of
vegetation, watering regimes and irrigation. The positioning of trees relative to the sun angle is also
important. When buying a new home it is a good idea to take a close look at the yard and come up with
a plan for the most effective strategies for landscaping and irrigating of the yard. Good strategies
will save money and yard problems.
The decision for the type of grass and how much grass will be a function of the climate. For dry climates
it is a good idea to reduce the amount of grass. This will save on watering. Water is a valuable
resources which is only going to become more valuable in the future. If the grass will have a
limited amount of sunlight or a significant amount of sunlight, make sure that type of grass can handle
that particular condition. In places in the yard that are excessively sunny or shady, you can think about placing
bushes, a tree, a garden, rocks, or some other unique display instead of grass.
For keeping the lawn watered it is important to keep in mind the question of what is the least amount
of water that will effectively keep the lawn flourishing. The best time to water is at night
and the early morning. This is because less of the water will evaporate away. When the humidity is high
outside, there will be less evaporation. Direct sunlight and low humidity will contribute to a significant
amount of evaporation, especially when temperatures are warm. Make sure the watering is not running
down the street or running off out of the yard. Whether watering by hose sprinkler system or an irrigation system, watch
for areas that have excessive runoff. If in a dry climate, consider limiting the amount of grass and
vegetation that requires significant water.
A typical yard will have areas of higher and lower elevation. This can create challenges. More nutrients
and water will tend to navigate toward the lower elevation pockets. Over time the higher elevation
area will become nutrient depleted and the vegetation can have a more difficult time. Strategies can
be implemented to reduce this problem. Make sure the higher elevations get more than the fair share
of water and nutrients in the yard. You can also try to level out the elevation changes. It may end up
the elevation changes pose no problem at all, but year after year keep an eye on it. Also keep an eye
on tree roots and the growth of the trees in the yard and how they influence how the grass grows.
The position of trees is important because they will determine the visibility of the home, areas
which are shaded and how well the grass in the yard will do in the long term. If the trees are
young, think about how big they will grow when mature. Keep the trees trimmed so the branches will
stay healthy and branches have less of a chance to damage the home in the wind or ice storm. It is
trees that often do the greatest damage to property during storms. As a tree matures over the years it
will tend to add more shade to the home. Think about which portions of the home you want to be shaded. For
sure trees that can reduce shade to south windows in hot climates will be beneficial to keeping the
home cooler. The change in shade over the years can have a significant influence on the grass. Grass
that requires significant sunlight will suffer to a tree that is increasing shade, depleting nutrients
from the soil and growing roots on or near the yard surface. Landscaping strategies can be implemented
to reduce the grass when the shade regime changes significantly over time.
In conclusion, be mindful of the grass, trees and watering requirements for the yard. It is wise
to have cost effective strategies which address the type / amount of vegetation and watering