Water Association of Kern County asking homeowners not to plant ryegrass this year

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - There is still no end in sight for the drought plaguing Kern County and the rest of the state, but a local water organization is encouraging a new way to save water.

The Water Association of Kern County is asking homeowners not to plant ryegrass this fall to cut down on water use.

“Brown lawns are not so bad. In colder climates they have them all winter long and everyone survives. It would just be really a great thing to do to save water in California,” said Beth Pandol, Executive Director for the Water Association of Kern County.

Many homeowners begin planting ryegrass in October so their lawns are green during the winter, but ryegrass requires extra water to keep the grass growing.

“Normally if you have a Bermuda lawn you just let it go brown and don’t water all winter and it comes back in the spring. We’re so used to green lawns in the winter, but given the drought the water association is urging people not to plant ryegrass. It may not be as beautiful as you would like, but it will go a long way in saving water and taking care of the water supply in a critical situation,” said Pandol.

A homeowner in Iron Oaks Estates in Northwest Bakersfield told 23ABC she is already taking steps to conserve and isn’t planting ryegrass this year.

“It's hard to look at because I love to work in the yard and I love seeing a green yard, but we are in a 3 year drought so we need to do what we can to help conserve,” said Catherine Waldon.

If you don’t want to say goodbye to your green lawn there are alternatives to planting ryegrass.

“We can dye your Bermuda grass green,” explained Jerry Koop, President of Alpha and Omega Gardening.

Homeowners in Los Angeles have already been painting their lawns green and Koop told 23ABC he will be able to start spraying lawns green this winter. The color lasts for about four months.

"About the time the dye is running out lawns starting to get green,” said Koop.

For now, people living in Kern County are doing what they can to conserve.

"We are all praying for rain and hopefully this is a season we will have green grass again just not this year,” said Waldon.

To learn more about the Water Association of Kern County click here .


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