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Beat the Heat, Grow Green: Salt Lake City's Water-Wise Lawn Care Guide

Growing A Lawn in Salt Lake City

Lawns in Salt Lake City face unique challenges due to the arid climate and limited water resources. This blog post provides valuable insights and practical tips for cultivating healthy and water-efficient lawns in the high desert conditions of Salt Lake City.

Green Lawn with water droplets
Have your lawn and be guilt free too

Watering Strategies for Salt Lake City Lawns

Water Correctly: In a dry climate like Salt Lake City, watering correctly means being mindful of water usage. Overcoming the over-reliance on water is the first step to creating a water-efficient lawn. Grass generally needs about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to thrive, and understanding the specific needs of Salt Lake City lawns is crucial.

Water Deeply, but Less Frequently: Avoid the common practice of daily shallow watering, as it can lead to shallow root systems that struggle during dry periods. Instead, opt for deep watering less frequently to encourage the development of robust root systems capable of efficiently utilizing soil moisture.

Water in the Morning: Optimal watering times in Salt Lake City are in the morning to minimize evaporation. Avoid windy days when evaporation is accelerated, and consider one well-timed weekly watering under the right conditions, which can be more effective than daily shallow watering.

Adapting to Salt Lake City's Summer Heat

Reducing Stress During Drought: Summer heat and drought conditions require a different approach to lawn care. Reduce foot traffic on the lawn and minimize maintenance practices during high heat periods. Prioritize activities like aerating and dethatching in cooler seasons, avoiding them in the heat of summer.

Mowing Strategies: Adjust mowing practices to Salt Lake City's climate by mowing grass to a taller height. This shades the soil, keeping the roots cooler and minimizing moisture evaporation. Consider reducing or avoiding mowing altogether during drought periods.

Prioritize the Root System: During drought, grasses may go dormant. While it's essential to avoid significant lawn care maintenance during these periods, providing just enough water to keep the roots alive is crucial. Salt Lake City lawns can go dormant for up to four weeks without permanent damage.

Planting and Maintenance Tips

Drought-Tolerant Grasses: Explore grass varieties suitable for Salt Lake City's climate that have lower water needs. Consider replanting or resodding with a grass mix designed for arid conditions. Over time, these drought-hardy grasses will thrive while requiring less water.

Mow Correctly in Arid Conditions: Lawns are often mowed too short, but in the arid conditions of Salt Lake City, cutting to a longer height is essential. Longer grass blades store more moisture and provide shade to the soil, promoting a healthier lawn.

Amend the Soil: While amending the soil of an established lawn in Salt Lake City is challenging, consider soil amendments when seeding or sodding a new lawn. This can help the soil retain moisture, especially in areas with sandy soils or those rich in organic material.

Sustainable Lawn Practices

Downsize the Lawn: In areas where water is scarce, downsizing the lawn can be a practical solution. Consider adding decks, patios, courtyards, or alternative surfaces to reduce the overall water needs of the lawn.

Explore Alternative Ground-covers: Even drought-resistant grasses may require more water than alternative ground-covers. Explore options beyond traditional grass in regions with low-moisture conditions, opting for ground-covers that thrive in Salt Lake City's climate.

Consider Artificial Grass: For those finding the maintenance of living lawns impractical, especially in desert environments, artificial turf can be a viable option. In Salt Lake City, where water restrictions may apply, a patch of artificial turf can provide a low-maintenance alternative.

Ground Cover Image with a bee over it
Groundcovers offer a conscious and balanced solution for enhancing your landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Daily Watering Necessary During a Drought? In Salt Lake City, it's better to water deeply a few times a week than lightly every day. This helps in conserving water and supporting a healthier lawn.

What Happens When Grass Gets Too Dry? During droughts or extreme heat, Salt Lake City lawns may wilt and turn brown, entering dormancy. With proper watering and more favorable temperatures, lawns can rebound and regain their green appearance.

Long or Short Grass During a Drought? In the arid conditions of Salt Lake City, keeping grass a little longer is beneficial. Longer grass shades the soil, retards evaporation, and promotes a stronger root system.


Cultivating a thriving lawn in Salt Lake City's arid climate requires thoughtful strategies tailored to the unique conditions of the region. By implementing these water-efficient practices, residents can enjoy lush, green lawns while conserving this precious resource.

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