I hate watering plants. The way I see it, if any plant can't naturally survive 6 weeks without rain, it shouldn't be here to begin with. Survival of the fittest, baby.

And of all the things I hate to water, watering the grass is numero uno and for very logical and well-considered reasons. (This is standard for the Grump.)

1. Unless you are filling a swimming pool or hosing down a pod of beaches whales (curiously enough, this happens to me all the time), watering the lawn takes more water than anything else in your yard.

2. You almost cannot buy a new house today that doesn't come with in-ground sprinklers. Nothing encourages more waste of water than sprinkler systems. From my unimpeachable observations, many people don't even know if their systems are doing the job. They have them come on automatically, whether it's raining or not, at 4 AM every morning to water for 20 minutes. This is so stupid. For one thing, it turns otherwise self-sufficient lawns into water junkies that go through withdrawal unless they get their daily water fix. Watering the grass frequently at night makes it more susceptible to disease. And lots of people don't know if their systems even work properly. I can't tell you how many sprinklers I've seen spraying water only on the street.

Here in Birmingham, Alabama, we usually get plenty of rain (54 inches a year average, although a lot of that comes in tropical storms and hurricanes). Each year, my goal is to never have to water my Bermuda grass lawn even once. I made it last year. But this year, after a very rainy spring, it hasn't rained a drop in more than three stinkin' weeks. Things are turning brown.

No Water Secret Revealed!

So how does the Grump avoid loathsome lawn watering when it just won't rain? Simple. I refuse to cut the grass until it rains two days in a row.


How come? Because if I cut it in the summer heat, it immediately turns brown. This means my wife yells at me about the ugly lawn, so I have to water it to turn it green again. Then it needs mowing, so I mow it and it turns brown, and the whole cycle repeats ad nauseum, just like Oprah's dieting.

A Necessary Sacrifice

There are, of course, consequences of such a radical course. The most obvious is that the unmown grass, though lush and green, grows very tall. So far, I have lost several family members in the front lawn. They went out to get the mail and never returned.

But if it means saving the planet and conserving our natural resources, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

How about you?