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Thread: Lawn and Water Question

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    spoonman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Peoria, AZ

    Lawn and Water Question

    This may seem like a crazy question, as I have researched this and have found no available information. Maybe someone here can help...

    I'm in Arizona (land of water drought) and I would like to put a small lawn in my backyard. However, I want to be very conscientious about the amount of water that I use. Rather than do away with the lawn entirely, or go to synthetics, I would like to find a way to reduce the amount of water that a lawn typically consumes.

    My question is this: Can I put a plastic liner in the soil underneath a natural lawn in order to retain (or slow) the loss of irrigation water?

    While some of a lawn's irrigation water is lost to evaporation, I suspect most is lost to the soil and water table below. Would a solid, or even perforated liner of some sort help to reduce this water consumption?

    thanks for any help you can provide
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    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Central Valley CA

    Re: Lawn and Water Question

    I can't find a reference to it on the web but a year or two ago I heard about a central valley california city (Fresno I think) adding a gel to the soil of the city park lawns. It was cutting watering below the state mandate reduction and instead of brown stressed out turf they had green in the test parks. The story was the stuff was not cheap but the city ran the numbers and it was cheaper than letting the turf die and replacing it when the drought was over. My googling has somewhat failed me but I believe the product was similar or may even have been a product by I plan on trying something like this when we finish the lawn next spring.
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    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Jamestown, SC

    Re: Lawn and Water Question

    I have used this before. It's for food plots, but should work for the lawn as well. It is similar to those crystals you add to flower pots that turn into gel when wet. Hunter's Specialties Vita Rack Moisture Trap

    Hunters Specialties Vita Rack Moisture Trap -
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    Re: Lawn and Water Question

    You want water crystals, technically called polyacrylimide. They are widely used for potted plants, when mixed into the soil they will absorb water, turn into a gel and slowly release the water as the soil dries. They are also now being used for precisely the application you want, i.e. applied to a lawn they will help tap water to keep it from running off. You can find lawn services that will apply them for you (fairly expensive), or you can just buy in bulk and apply yourself they are just spread across the lawn like fertilizer. If you ate putting in a lawn they can be mixed into the top few inches of soil, which is even better. Just search the web for "water crystals" and you will get tons of hits. Prices can vary quite a bit, so shop around. The dirty secret is they are all essentially the same thing, the only real variation is granule size (and price so you don't need to pay top dollar. They are non-toxic, and last for several years. I use them to provide water for feeders for various insectivorous pets, much better than sponges or water dishes.

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