Patio without Get Grassy TextAbout Watering

  1. To water or not to water? It is important to make a decision about whether or not you’ll provide regular watering for your lawn to keep its green color, or let it go dormant in the summer. Dormancy is best suited for well-established lawns rather than new or heavily trafficked lawns. Residents in new developments may want to keep their lawns watered.
  2. Dormant grass is not dead. Turfgrasses are cool-season plants designed for dormancy when water is scarce, though they may look ugly and brown. After 4-6 weeks of no rain, even dormant grass needs to be watered.  Watering it once deeply (1-1.5 inches) will keep the roots alive without causing the grass to green up.  Remember that watering deeply and less often encourages deeper roots that are more drought-tolerant.
  3. Don’t tease your lawn with an occasional sprinkle.  Sporadic, irregular watering “confuses” your turf resulting in shallow rooting and stress.  If you’re watering, remember grass needs approximately 1” of water per week.  You can measure rainfall and irrigation with a rain gauge or even a tuna can.
  4. How and when you water matters. Overwatering is more of a problem for homeowners than is under- watering (contact Franklin Soil and Water to see if you qualify for a free irrigation sensor).   Too much irrigation deprives plant roots of oxygen, and can contribute to water pollution when fertilizer is washed away before grass is able to use it.  Grubs will enjoy laying eggs in your damp lawn too! Watering deeply in the morning when water is needed works best.

Mow High and Let It Lie

Keeping your grass a little taller at 3-4” in the summer reduces soil temperatures, preserves moisture, prevents weed germination, and helps maintain turfgrass quality.  Grass that’s cut too closely is easily stressed, causing it to brown more quickly than longer grass. Dandelions are especially common in lawns that are thin or cut too short.  Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn recycles nutrients, and doesn’t cause thatch.  Grass in our storm drains pollute our water, and provide nutrient-rich “food” for algae.

Proper Lawn Care Practices Protect Our Streams

Healthy lawns benefit our streams because they absorb more water during rain storms, need less fertilizer, and are less likely to require pesticide and/or herbicide application than unhealthy lawns.

What's New

Educators & Youth Leaders

Join teachers, environmental educators, and naturalists, as we explore, explain and experience the value, variety, and vulnerability of our natural resources through a series of interactive workshops. The workshops are coordinated by the Delaware and Franklin Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Delaware County Preservation Parks. Each workshop is a two-day session,  including: instructor led activities, presentations by field professionals, field trips, participant driven learning and evaluation. All curricular materials are adaptable for many age groups. A continental breakfast with beverages will be provided but we do ask that you bring your own lunch.

There are two ways to register for a workshop

For more information or any questions, feel free to contact:

  • Linda Pettit, Frankli SWCD, (614) 486-9613, ext 11t or send an email to Linda.
  • Dona Rhea, Delaware SWCD, (740) 368-1921 or send an email to Dona.


2016 Community Backyards participant with her new compost bin.

2016 Community Backyards participant with her new compost bin.

The Community Backyards Rebate program is set to re-launch on April 1, 2017 but workshops are currently being scheduled for the year and  you can register to attend one of our current in-person workshops starting today! So far we have workshops scheduled for Westerville, Canal Winchester, Bexley, New Albany and many around Columbus. To easily register online, visit our Franklin Soil and Water Eventbrite page.

Community Backyards will once again offer $50 or $100 reimbursements to residents after participation in the program and purchase of an approved backyard conservation item. Participation is necessary to receive a rebate, and participants must live in an eligible tax district. So get ready for spring and visit Community Backyards for more information on how you can participate today!

As with last year, orders placed through our Conservation Spring Tree and Plant sale will be eligible for reimbursement once you participate in the program. So make sure to order your trees before April 10, 2017. You can easily order your plants online through our shopping cart or you can view our January newsletter for an order form to mail in and to find more information on the different species we are offering this year.

Local Governments

Please consider supporting conservation efforts in Franklin County by sponsoring Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s 71st Annual Meeting & Board of Supervisors’ Election or our Annual Central Ohio Stormwater and Erosion Control Expo. Become a Conservation Champion today! You can find more information on the sponsorship registration form.

Sponsorships make it possible to keep event ticket prices low to encourage attendance.  All remaining profits support local projects through our Conservation Fund. Last year, the fund supported mini-grants to conservation projects with Iuka Ravine Association, Friends of Upper Arlington Parks and Franklin County Children Services. Sponsors of each level can request a free conservation workshop for your employees to learn about rain gardens, rain barrels, composting, stream protection and creating habitat for wildlife.

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