The quality of our water varies a great deal around Australia, which can affect your lawn and its maintenance program. Some areas have excellent water, certainly good enough to drink, while other areas.. let’s just say bottled water is the way to go.
Salty Water Equals Saline Soils
High levels of salt in your water supply can have a negative impact on your plants and lawn. Continued applications of salty water lead to a build up of salt in your soil, which reduces the amount of water your plants and lawn can obtain. Typical symptoms of salty water include poor growth and poor performance.
In addition the sodium found in salty water can damage the structure of different soil types, such as in clay. This can lead to compaction and increasing the difficulty of root development in your lawn and therefore lead to poor performance in your lawn.
Although these water quality conditions are far from ideal, they are not impossible to work with. The good news is that there are some varieties of lawn that have varying available levels of salt tolerance, so choosing the right lawn for your area is crucial.
Salt Tolerant Varieties Include:
- Sir Walter Buffalo
- Paspalum varieties including saltine and seashore paspalum
Salt Intolerant Varieties Include:
- Tall Fescue
Other Alternatives To Your Salty Water:
- Use an alternative water supply, such as rain water from a tank or grey recycled water if capacity allows.
- Try not to let the soil dry out as this will prevent high salt concentration in the soils – sandy soils in particular.
- Add gypsum and in some cases lime as well to improve soil structure and drainage in clay based soils, helping leach salt through the soil. The lime will help to improve the acid levels in the soils caused by the salt.
- Carry out very good soil improvement works prior to installing your new lawn to improve structure and drainage before the lawn is laid.
- If you only have the option of the higher salty concentration in the water you already have, we recommend you overwater slightly to leach salts through the soil profile.
How Do I Know The Salt Concentration In My Water Source ?
To measure the salinity in your water either contact your water supplier, or if you are not on the mains water supply, have your water tested at a testing facility or laboratory