Why I Don’t Water My Lawn

We’re in the middle of a pretty serious drought in my neighbourhood and if what I hear on the news is true, there’s likely a drought in your neighbourhood too.

I enjoy a rain storm in the summer, it takes the pressure off having to enjoy the nice (by which I mean hot) weather. But it’s not to be this summer. We’ve come close, menacing clouds and thunder to close the pools. But no rain, or at least not enough rain to make the ground wet.

I’m not a huge fan of hot and dry and neither are my plants. But if I have to endure the lack of rain, so do they.

when your grass is dead

My very dead front lawn.

I don’t believe in watering grass. Here’s why-

  • Smarten up. If grass is not evolutionary smart enough to grow deeper roots for time of drought, then it doesn’t deserve water.
  • Waste not want not. I don’t like wasting water and in a shortage, I’d rather drink or swim in the water than feed it to the grass.
  • Do not keep up with the Jones. I don’t want to be running around in a heatwave moving a sprinkler around so that my grass is green like the neighbours. The neighbours who spent the night running around moving their sprinklers.
  • Be me. I make a statement with my grass. A statement that says “I am not a slave to my grass.”

The only plants I will water are my vegetables, and then only if they are desperate, plants in pots or anything that’s just been planted. I feel that if I planted a pretty ivy in a pot I’ve doomed it’s root system to never find that water source it’s searching out. So I help it out. Same with anything newly planted, it’s roots haven’t had a change to grow and they need some help.

Everybody else is on their own. If you can’t manage there’s no place for you in my garden. Harsh but so is ecology, only the fittest survive.  And this year grass isn’t making the cut.

I don’t spray my lawn either. But that’s another story.


  1. I keep telling David “Dead grass is grass you don’t have to mow.”

    He’s having a hard time accepting it.

  2. I don’t water either for all the you listed above plus it is an expense I’d rather not give into. There are plenty of items I don’t haveAbby control over but watering is one that is a choice. I think back to friends who make trips to Haiti twice a year through Healing Haiti and remember the photos of the water trucks that go through the city once per week. Families walk a long way to get their 5 gallon bucket of water for the week. Nope! My brown grass is a proud statement!

    • That’s a great point. Just because we have quick and easy access to water doesn’t mean we HAVE to use it everywhere all the time.

      Giggling at your autocorrect mistake.

  3. Insert ” reasons” omit ”Abby” autocorrect is not my friend!

  4. I haven’t had to deal with dead grass this year…we have rain. Enough of it to share. Wish I could send some your way. While I do not water my lawn, I may be inclined to allow the kids to play with the hose or a sprinkler type toy for a bit in a strategic area in times where there has not been a lot of rain. I sorta figure it’s a ‘two birds, one stone’ kinda thing.

    • Turning on the hose for some slipping and sliding is another thing entirely. I fully support wasting water to amuse children.

      And please, send the rain.

  5. My front lawn looks like yours, but my backyard is thick and green from the kids’ sprinkler and pool. I am starting to think I should move the kids’ water fun to the front yard to liven it up a bit.

  6. We’re working on it. We just planted “drought tolerant” plants in our back this year, but they need the water right now for the whole root thing. Once they’re established, they’re on their own. Our front lawn is pretty dead but it gets watered once a week.

  7. My lawn is now so dead it’s past brown and is bleached white. The green will come back eventually.

  8. My lawn is still sorta green in patches because we put down some new sod a few weeks ago just before the drought started. I watered from my rain barrel for almost a week (i have a huge one) but alas it is almost empty so sprinkler it is. But I have limited myself to once every 2 days and only the sod, nothing else.

    I thought it was interesting to hear that grass doesn’t actually die it goes dormant. And will return to its full glory once the rain returns.

    • Kristin Glasbergen says:

      I’ve heard that too. So I suppose that disproves my survival of the fittest theory. Grass, smarter than it looks.

  9. Ha! My grass goes brown. My weeds, however, stay bright green. Contrast brings visual interest, right?

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