Five steps for an unbelievably green and water efficient lawn during California’s drought

Keep your lawn green this summer!

The following five steps will allow you to significantly improve your lawn while saving a tremendous amount of water use throughout the year. The following five steps only take about 30 minutes across the entire year in order to properly improve your specific situation. The simple fact is you do not need to kill off your lawn in order to save significant amounts of water and contribute to the efficiency of water use within California.

By implementing these steps I personally experienced more than 30% reduction in my water use while my neighbors stood in awe of how florescent green my lawn was. When I showed my water bill and the savings to my neighbors they were in complete disbelief because they believed they had to kill off their lawn by reducing their water use to all zero but quite in fact this is not necessary. With proper maintenance, a lawn and your entire yard needs only a fraction of a the water necessary to keep it green and beautiful when you are not properly caring for it.

Step 1. Follow the sun (and the weather).

Often, many of us pay attention to the weather in order to select the right clothing for the day. However many of us ignore the fact that our lawns also need you to adjust your care according to the weather and the amount of sun your lawn will receive. So it is important to note what the weather will be like and the temperature ranges that your lawn will be experiencing along with you during the day.

Step 2. Penetrate your soul (leverage an aerator).

aerator

 

This simple little tool can be used to significantly change the absorption rate of water for your lawn. Imagine that you don’t aerate your lawn, without aeration the water sits on the top layer of soil and if you have a hill or sloped lawn it rolls right off only permeating the very top quarter-inch layer of topsoil. The goal for water efficient lawn is to maintain deep penetration of water into the topsoil and the only way to perform this without overwatering is through aeration. Aeration also has other benefits such as delivering nutrients further into the soil towards the roots of your grass. This is the single most effective way to reduce water usage and it only takes five minutes with this tool found at Home Depot at the following URL: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hound-Dog-Steel-Spike-Aerator-HDP37/202605484

Step 3. Renew your body (sprinkle some seed).

Re-seeding is an essential step to keeping a quality lawn. Over time and age lawn degrades and the blades of grass simply don’t have the same luster as they once had similar to humans and aging. So it is important to re-seed on a regular basis usually in the springtime. grass-seedThere are many types of seed and you should try and match the type of seed that you already have if at all possible so that you can maintain the look the you desire. For me a simple fescue mix from my local Walmart or Home Depot was sufficient to maintain my own grass in the look that I desired.

Step 4. Take some vitamins (fertilize!).

The next stephandheld-spreader after aeration is to ensure that your grass has quality nutrients delivered directly to its roots, just like our bodies need vitamins so to do grasses and other shrubs we plant our yards. A simple $10-$15 fertilizer sprinkled across your lawn is sufficient to provide nutrients for almost 6 months and significantly improve the health of your lawn and provide for a florescent green and healthy color. This step takes only minutes once every six months. Ideally you can spread fertilizer with the same handheld spreader you use for the seed.

Step 5. Adjust your clocks! (water at the right time of day).

The final step in this process is to adjust your watering habits or your watering system to accommodate our newly renovated lawn. An unhealthy lawn without these maintenance techniques requires 2 to 3 times as much water, leading guidance from common Internet sources to claim watering must be 8 to 10 minutes per day in order for the desired look. However I have found that For my environmental conditions in Northern California,  quite honestly a healthfully maintained lawn only needs one third of the amount of water across to the majority of the year with only exceeding this amount in the highest temperature period of the summer months. The best watering times for grass are during the morning hours between 4 and 5 AM allowing sufficient soak time prior to the sun rising and evaporating the moisture. For my use I also run my water in the afternoon at around 5 PM, ideally you do not want a moist soil all night long to avoid bacteria and moss growth during the evening.

This is a photo of my lawn and my bill usage graph with an over 30% reduction (year over year) in my water use. 

my-grass

water-saved

 

 

 




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[ISN] Small-time security threats bigger concern

http://www.autonews.com/article/20150309/FINANCE_AND_INSURANCE/303099941/small-time-security-threats-bigger-concern By David Barkholz Automotive News March 9, 2015 The biggest threats to a dealership’s data aren’t Russian hackers breaking through electronic firewalls or robots trying a thousand passwords on security codes until they finally crack into the system. It’s more likely the mundane stuff that will cause a breach that enables personal consumer data to slip out of the store, said Brad Miller, director of legal and regulatory affairs for the National Automobile Dealers Association. Watch out, he said, for laptops that may contain sensitive files being stolen out of cars. A thumb drive that contains code capable of capturing passwords or data can be plugged into the laptop. Also, software vendors long ago dropped by a dealership may retain active pass codes that enable data to be taken from the dealership, unbeknownst to store employees, Miller said. Or pirates may send dealership employees a “phishing” email hoping to fool one into giving out information or a password that opens the system to the thieves. […]


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[ISN] CIA Restructuring Adds New Cyber Focus

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[ISN] The Ambassador who worked from Nairobi bathroom to avoid State Dept. IT

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[ISN] Point-of-Sale Vendor NEXTEP Probes Breach

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[ISN] Attention, Cyber Pros: The Pentagon Wants You — 3, 000 of You

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2015/03/pentagon-has-until-2016-extend-3000-jobs-offers-civilian-cyber-whizzes/106842/ By Aliya Sternstein Nextgov.com March 5, 2015 The military has been given the go-ahead to fast-track the hiring of 3,000 computer whiz civilians, in part, to flesh out the half-staffed U.S. Cyber Command, federal officials announced Thursday. Yesterday, command leaders told Congress they need to be able to quicker make compensation deals with prospective employees, as threats from nation state hackers mount. The permission slip the Office of Personnel Management signed applies to the entire Defense Department, including the command, according to a notice posted in the Federal Register. The 5-year-old command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations. The pay scale for the new Defense positions starts at $42,399 and goes up to $132,122. Under the arrangement, the Pentagon can skip the process of rating applicants based on traditional competitive criteria. Instead, the department can offer jobs based on the candidate’s unique skills and knowledge. The special qualifications include the ability to analyze malware, respond to incidents, manage cyber fire drills and detect vulnerabilities, among other things. […]


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[ISN] US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/05/us_watchdog_anthem_audits/ By Shaun Nichols The Register 5 Mar 2015 A year or so before American health insurer Anthem admitted it had been ruthlessly ransacked by hackers, a US federal watchdog had offered to audit the giant’s computer security – but was rebuffed. And, after miscreants looted Anthem’s servers and accessed up to 88.8 million private records, the watchdog again offered to audit the insurer’s systems, and was again turned away. “We do not know why Anthem refuses to cooperate,” government officials told The Register today. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) told us it wanted to audit Anthem’s information security protections back in 2013, but was snubbed by the insurer. According to the agency, Anthem participates in the US Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which requires regular audits from the OIG, audits that Anthem allegedly thwarted. Other health insurers submit to Uncle Sam’s audits “without incident,” we’re told. […]


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[ISN] Financial sector cloud adoption on the rise despite security concerns

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