Since last spring, little green hexagonal signs have been blooming in Salt Lake City gardens. These Pesticide Free Yard signs are part of the Salt Lake City Pesticide Free Campaign in partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF). HBBF encourages residents to protect our families and the environment by eliminating pesticide use.
Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department teamed up with Beyond Pesticides to guide residents who want to keep their gardens beautiful without using harmful chemicals. And it’s working! Since 2018, over 340 individuals have pledged to go pesticide free.
And even though summer is coming to a close, you can still go pesticide free in your yard. Eliminating your use of toxic chemicals is a year-round challenge that will protect your family and neighborhood.
With snow levels and spring run-off below average again this year, Salt Lake City Public Utilities is calling on its water customers to be watchful in regards to water use, avoiding both overwatering and water waste. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure sprinklers water the grass, and not patios or cement.
- Check for clogged sprinkler heads and be sure to clear them out. Clogged heads will not evenly distribute water on your lawn and waste water.
- Register for a free sprinkler check, which will include a catch cup test. The test evaluates the evenness of your watering system and will help you set up an effective and personalized irrigation schedule.
Other Tips for a Healthy Lawn
- Healthy lawns should be watered deeply and infrequently so roots go down deep.
- The higher you leave the grass, the healthier the lawn. Leave it about 2-3 inches high. This will ensure your lawn has a deeper root system.
- Keep grass clippings on the lawn – they act like mulch to keep moister in and send nutrients back into your soil.
Don’t Forget Your Trees
It’s important to remember that trees have different watering needs than your lawn. Here are some helpful tips from Salt Lake City Urban Forestry (PDF). Also check out their list of Water Wise Trees (PDF).
Conserving water doesn’t stop outside! Here are some tips for water conservation indoors:
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
- Set your washing machine to the appropriate load size.
- Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth, shaving or lathering your hands.
- Store a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking so you don’t have to let the faucet run for cold water.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can (NEVER flush medications down the toilet!)
More tips from Salt Lake City’s Water Conservation program.
- Tips for a water wise landscape program:
- Analysis, Planning and Design.
- Soil Improvement. Soil amendment helps correct poor water infiltration, percolation and drainage. Common amendments include compost, decomposed leaves or pine druff, manures or utelite.
- Efficient Irrigation. Match the amount of water supplied to your plant’s needs, group plants together according to their water needs. Turf should be irrigated separately.
- Limit Turf Areas.
- Use Mulch. Mulch buffers soils against climate extremes.
- Use Low Water Demand Plants.
- Maintain. Your garden will require extra maintenance before your plants fill in and establish themselves. Once that happens, demands decrease, plants require less water and weeds are crowded out.
- Learn more about this process and access a list of Water Wise plants from Salt Lake City Public Utilities Water Conservation program.