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No sprinklers allowed!

Posted by fgirl21 z6 - MA (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 20, 06 at 8:24

I live in a community where sprinklers are not allowed - AT ALL. Period. Year round.(Unless you have your own well). All watering must be accomplished by a hand held hose.

That's fine if one has a postage stamp sized lawn but I do not! So I am completely reliant on the bounty of mother nature to provide water to my lawn. Sometimes she good to me, other times she's not.

I'm wondering about a grass mixture that will be able to withstand limited (as in close to none) water in the heat of the summer.

I believe that the yard had a good amount of Kentucky Blue when we bought it. I've since learned that it's a water hog! We've started seeding the dead parts with a tall fescue.

Are we on the right track?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: No sprinklers allowed!

I don't know how well this is going to turn out, but I just saw some Scott's seed on store shelves this year I've never seen around here before. It's "Heat and Drought", tolerates high heat, drought, and requires less water. I sowed some on a rental lawn this spring, the front slopes a bit so rain tends to run off to the lower spots. The higher spots of the front lawn tend to scorch by July/Aug where the sun blazes down and moisture doesn't stay. So I'm hoping that seed will take hold well and not scorch, offer nice curb appeal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scott's Heat/Drought

RE: No sprinklers allowed!

Dear No sprinklers,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. You are the first neighborhood that I have heard that outlaws sprinklers. I will use this in my class this fall.

The idea of using tall fescue is solid and that is the Scotts heat/drought seed on the web site referenced by the other post. It is a good choice and since you have started this I would keep going that way. (Another option for future reference is fine leafed fescues).

One tip for establishing tall fescues is rate and establishment method. Go with a rate of 9 lbs seed/1000 ft2 and seed the grass in three directions to get good coverage (3.0 lbs seed/1000 ft2 per direction.) Tall fescue does not tiller quickly, so the establishment method is a key to turf density.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

RE: No sprinklers allowed!

Thank you both for the information.

Mr. Rogers - for information for your fall class, you may want to research water restrictions in southeast Massachusetts. There are quite a number of communities that have an outright ban on any type of automated watering systems (except on private well). Additionally, dependent upon the amount of moister recongnized from the spring thaw and rains, FURTHER RESTRICTIONS are placed on the use of handheld hoses over the course of the summer months.

It does pose some challenges for those interested in lush green lawns!

RE: No sprinklers allowed!

Tall fescue is more drought tolerant than KBG, but unless mother nature is providing a pretty steady water supply, it is still likely to brown out in the hottest months. It probably won't die, but it will go dormant.

For seeding, you might want to skip the box store and check out They test diffent grasses in different areas of the country and rate them on drought tolerance, disease, color etc. You'll probably be able to find a tall fescue that stands up better in your area than the generic scott's blend.

RE: No sprinklers allowed!

Why don't you put soaker hose under the ground and weave it back and forth like i did. It has worked well for me in AZ for about four years now. It's the ol hidden ball trick. I did it so the sprinklers would not get water spray on my truck. I am strange that way :)

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