Pictured are Golden Mayor Christina Benty and Avinga Atkinson

Learn how to grow a healthier lawn

Golden's Water Smart program is getting well underway.

Golden’s Water Smart program is well underway, and Mayor Christina Benty was one of the first residents to have her yard assessed.

Avinga Atkinson, the water smart ambassador for the Town of Golden, walked around Benty’s yard, looked at some soil samples, and talked about the best way to maintain her lawn.

“I can identify the different micro-climates within the yard, and talk about some of the problem areas,” said Atkinson. In Benty’s south-facing home, as in many homes, the grass up against the house tends to dry out faster. That is because the the sun bounces off of the house and saturates the grass.

Atkinson assessed that Benty had been taking good care of her lawn. She usually waters for about 15 minutes in the mornings (on her watering days), and the samples he took revealed rich, moist soil.

There was one dryer patch near the edge of the property that Atkinson believes is a result of snow piling in that spot over the winter. If other home owners have a similar problem, Atkinson said a bit of extra watering in that area should fix it.

Healthier lawns, which need less water, are also achieved through proper mowing practices. If you leave the grass two to three inches tall it helps choke out the weeds. Also,  more frequent mowings produce shorter clippings, which reduces clumping that can block water and sun from the lawn.

The ultimate goal of the program, funded jointly by the Town of Golden and the Columbis Basin Trust, is to encourage people to consume less water. So everyone who signs up for a free assessment gets a free water timer to attach to the faucet.

Assessments are free, just call the Town office at 344-2271 to book one.