Checklist of Conservation Ideas For The Yard

Limit Lawn Size
Most turf grasses require 30 - 50% more water than shrubs and ground covers. Limit the use of grass and lawns to active picnicking and play areas. Shade in these areas will reduce the moisture loss and make a cool area for children to play.

If you do have a lawn, mow at least once per week and try to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Taller blades of grass hold up better in the heat because of that little bit of extra shade helps to keep more moisture in the soil. If you mow the grass too short, root shock will cause your grass to turn yellow despite your watering.

Designing for Irrigation Zones
Avoid putting thirsty exotics with plants that do well in dry weather. Zone your plants so that each area has similar water needs to enable you to water more efficiently. Limit your use of thirsty plants. Call the Board of Water supply at (808) 270-7199 for more information.

Choosing Native Plants
An out-of-place, thirsty landscape can take up 3/4 of your home's water use. Plant shrubs and trees native to the island. Regularly water for the first year or two to help them establish roots, then you can cut back or stop watering.

Find & Repair Leaks
Check and repair all of your outdoor fixtures regularly.

Irrigation Systems
Drip irrigation is designed to get water slowly and directly to the roots of plants. Sprinklers with fine, high sprays lose water to evaporation, so instead use a low, flat spray patter and larger drops of water. Use a soaker hose on slopes to reduce run-off. Use timers and make sure they are set appropriately for the season.

If you do have a lawn, water only when it needs it. A good, deep soaking is better than a light sprinkling. To check if your lawn needs watering, step on the grass. If it springs back up, it doesn't need water, if it stays flat, it could use a little bit. Avoid watering in the heat of the day.

Watch the Weather
Never water while it's raining! Install rain shut-offs or soil moisture sensors on automated systems.

Getting to the Root
Root feeder or water aerator probes around trees and bushes will help direct water where it is needed.

Soils & Mulch
Have your soil tested by calling the Ag Extension Service at MCC at (808) 244-3242. Different soils require different amounts of watering. Mulching and composting help to hold moisture and support heartier, drought-tolerant plants. Looser soil can make a healthier lawn.