My family planted an oak sapling in our back yard in 2008. My son, in his wisdom, called the tree Leafy in honor of the nickname he gave his favorite Pokemon that has a huge tree on its back. Leafy was doing fine until we noticed some of his leaves turning yellow in mid-July.
Here in Branson, Mo., there are plenty of brown and crispy lawns. Leafy was about to become a victim of the “exceptional” drought in southern Missouri.
We hatched a plan. My family researched watering lawns in a drought and came across this simple piece in the Houston Chronicle. My son and I discovered that watering a lawn just once per week for a couple of hours can produce amazing results.
We got out our lone water hose, hooked it up to the spigot and laid one end of the hose at the point where Leafy disappears into the ground. I turned the faucet on as high as it will go.
An hour and a half later, the water was turned off. The following day, we watered Leafy again. A week later, we did the same thing. After just two weeks and four waterings, my family noticed a remarkable thing. A large spot of grass grew green where the water spread out and soaked into the soil around Leafy.
On our monthly water bill, we noticed the four times we watered Leafy only added $6 to our tab, or $1.50 per 90-minute watering. If it only took that amount to save our little tree, we could expand it to get our lawn going again.
The quest to save our tree suddenly became a battle against nature to save our lawn. My wife’s vegetable garden was already written off in late June, but our yard was going to become our green oasis in a sea of brown.
To completely water our lawn, we would need two hoses, one for each spigot on opposite ends of the house. We also needed two lawn sprinklers to cover large areas of the yard. To cover everything, I estimated four separate waterings in back and two in the front to cover all sides of the lawn. We water the front yard on Saturday nights and back yard on Sunday nights.
The costs we are going to incur will be notable in our family budget, but we’ve set a goal to save the lawn despite the drought and we’re going through with it no matter what. The extra garden hose was $10 at our local Home Depot. Two sprinklers were $10 each. The largest expense is going to be the water usage. We’ll have six waterings per week at $9 per week. For four weeks, the watering adds $36 to our overall bill.
Total estimated cost of saving our lawn from the drought from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31: $69 including sales tax. Cost of knowing we accomplished something against the odds: priceless.
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