Research shows, according to Robert Shermon, Ph.D., at the University of Nebraska, that only 1 percent of the water applied to turfgrass is used for growth. We are in a drought, and if we all don’t start conserving water, there won’t be water for our landscapes. We just had a heavy rain, so your soil will not be drying out as quick as it would be if the temperatures were in the 90s and above.

I just shut off my sprinkler clock and I won’t water again until I use my moisture meter to tell me to water again. You can purchase a meter for about $10. This device could save millions of gallons of water if everyone would water when your landscape needs it. If you don’t want to buy a meter, then push a screwdriver into the soil. If your soil is not compacted, it should be able to go into your soil, then before you water again, check your soil with the screwdriver. If it does not go into the soil, then it is time to water again.

I have a lot of clients who say if I don’t water every day, then I have dry spots. Soil compaction is the No. 1 killer of landscapes, and if you have dry spots, then apply a soil penetrant and also check to see if you have proper water coverage. You need to teach your landscape to run a marathon, not a sprint. You need to let the soil dry out in between watering to stress your trees, plants and lawn roots. You don’t need to water every day. Please conserve water before it it's too late. Finally, I think they should ban rye grass so we can save water.

— Michael Monji, Bakersfield