COLUMN: The grass is always green …

As you walk through the University of Minnesota lawn mowers, it looks like a huge checkerboard filled with various shades of green and brown. Long grass and short grass, soft grass and rough grass, and even a little taller green grass, soft and plus feels like a giant carpet.

Recently, for Cities and Water Professionals Field Day, university experts discussed some of the best strategies they have found to reduce the environmental impact of traditional American grass.

Florence Cesses, a researcher in the field of horticulture, has been comparing the common grass tolerance drought at home and in grocery stores. After sowing a few experiments, she quickly realized that the grass was mixed with a high percentage of facsimile grass.

Her research team developed their own mix of seeds in 2 ”x 2” squares in their own moisture-controlled experiment. In the long, hot summer months without irrigation or rain, the plot of 100% strong Fescus grass was still green and green, but the one with Kentucky Bluegrass was completely dead.

Hard Passover is one of the many good grasses that are considered to be less maintenance than the Kentucky Bluegrass (a common grass species in Minnesota) that can be used in lawns.

In general, good fertilizers contain less water, mowing, and less resources such as fertilizers and pesticides. In fact, there is a good chance of “low-mowing” mixes in grasslands that need to be harvested only once or twice a year. Of the good varieties, the strongest Easter is the most drought tolerant.

For homeowners who are not ready to fix the current lawn, university researchers have also found that modern irrigation controllers can significantly reduce water usage without affecting the landscape.

Smart controllers come with a Wi-Fi slot that connects to the app on your phone and collects weather information from your nearest station. The controller will use this information to determine when the polls will fly and when it will rain.

During the UOM field seminar, Evans, an expert in horticulture, gave an example of a number of smart supervisors and talked about water conservation. This summer, Evans devised nine experiments to compare standard and smart controls. Irrigation farms by modern supervisors did not differ in color or quality compared to areas that consume an average of 5,000 gallons of water. He expects water savings to be greater for many homeowners, as most suburban fields are much larger than the university’s test terraces.

Many cities in Washington County are currently offering financial incentives to help homeowners purchase and install modern irrigation systems (Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Gojo Grove and Hugo). Some provide funding for large commercial campuses and homeowners’ associations to conduct irrigation audits and water conservation measures.

For homeowners interested in learning more about low-mowing or bee-friendly grasses, the East Metro Water Education Program offers a free online workshop from September 6 to 30:30 to 7:30.

Angie Hong is a East Metro Water Instructor for the Local Government Partnership with 25 members – Follow her on TikTok @mnnature_awesomeness or contact her at 952-261-9599 or


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