What About My Lawn? Lawn Doctor's Advice During Outdoor Water Ban

John Buechner of Holmdel-based Lawn Doctor says he feels your pain. Here is some advice on how to react during the no-watering period.

Update July 5 at 4 p.m.: The outdoor watering ban has been lifted for non-New Jersey American Water customers. 

With an outdoor watering ban in effect for some Monmouth County residents following a New Jersey American Water system water main collapse, you may be wondering how your green lawn will survive in this 90 degree heat. 

The technical director of , headquartered in grassy Holmdel at Route 34 and Schanck Road, says there are some things you can do until your sprinklers start hissing water again.

"You want to limit activity on the grass to reduce stress," said John Buechner, the star of the Lawn Doctor how-to video series on YouTube. "And you should increase mowing height to 3 to 3 1/2 for cool season grasses." 

When the water restriction ends, Buechner said grass-growers should return to watering the lawn with an inch of water per week, or if you prefer every other day, 1/3 inch of water each session. That includes natural rainfall.

Water can be measured with store-bought rain gauges or with a simple can put out on the lawn to capture moisture. Some people use the official rainfall data from a weather station at Holmdel Park. 

Soil in this part of the state can by sandy, and will dry out more quickly than in other places without water. "You're going to see the lawns go brown in this area a lot quicker than in Middlesex County, where you have a lot of clay in the soil," he said. 

But as long as some moisture reaches the center of the plant, called "crowns" about every three weeks, the lawn will sustain itself and survive. "With adequate moisture it will 'green up' again," he said. 



Information from Monmouth County on the outdoor water restriction as of July 5 at 4 p.m.

  • Customers of NJAW are under a mandatory water restriction that bans all outdoor water use and encourages indoor water conservation. It is illegal for NJAW customers to water lawns, shrubs or gardens, fill swimming pools and wash cars.
  • All restrictions for non-NJAW customers have been lifted, although conservation is urged.
  • New sod or newly seeded lawns and planted shrubs can be watered to an appropriate level.
  • Indoor conservation measures include refraining from using washing machines and dishwashers, limiting showering times and flushing toilets less frequently.
  • Commercial businesses that rely on water for their operations are not subject to these restrictions.


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