The Q&A Archives: Watering a Lawn in an Arid, Windy Place

Question: I live in a hot, dry, windy city. I have planted a lawn using fescue. The lawn has ample water, however, the winds blow the sprinkler system away from the lawn on some days. Is there a soil amendment I can add to retain some of the moisture? There used to be a small pill-like jelly dots that you could add to potted plants that would reduce the need for water, because the pills would expand and hold the moisture. It was quite expensive. Is there anything on the market for larger use in landscaping. I live very near Laughlin Nevada and the casinos there seem not to have a problem in keeping their lawns green as well as some golf courses. I would appreciate any help you could give me.

Answer: Well, I don't know for sure what those resort areas are using to keep their lawns green, but I do know of a substance you can water into your lawn to help the soil particles cling to water that happens by them. It's called Hydretain, and last I checked, Gardener's Supply Co. ( was selling it. It's a lot cheaper than using polymer crystals, and it doesn't get all messy like polymers, either.

As for keeping your water where you want it, it might make sense to park your car so it brakes the wind, and prevents it from blowing the precious water into the next yard. Also, if you don't have a sprinkler with a vairable setting for height and distance, I suggest that you get one. It'll pay for itself with all the water you'll save. If you can, choose the time of day when the wind is weakest to water. I hope this helps!

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