Temperatures are soaring across the country, prompting the release of gallons and gallons of water to irrigate thirsty lawns and gardens. Before you go wantonly spraying (wasting) a precious resource, brush up on your Garden and Lawn Watering Basics. Taking…
Different soil types have different watering needs. You don't need to be a soil scientist to know how to water your soil properly. These tips can help: Loosen the soil around plants so it can quickly absorb water and nutrients. Use a 1- to 2-inch protective layer of mulch on the soil surface above the root area. Cultivating and mulching reduce evaporation and soil erosion. Clay soil: Add organic material such as compost or peat moss. Till or spade to help loosen the soil. Since clay soil absorbs water very slowly, water only as fast as the soil absorbs the water. Sandy soil: Add organic material to supplement sandy soil. Otherwise, the water can run through it so quickly that plants won't be able to absorb it. Loam soil: The best kind of soil. It's a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Loam absorbs water readily and stores it for plants to use.
Watering heavilly once a day is better than several smaller sessions. Getting the water down to a depth of 4-6 inches promotes deeper, stronger root growth.
If your planning a backyard wetland, locate it where it is unlikely to attract unattended children. Check local safety ordinances and building ordinances for restrictions and permits.
To water vegetable and flower gardens containing tall plants that may otherwise block the spray, set sprinklers on a sawhorse, or use a tower-mounted sprinkler.
Annuals are shallow rooted so don't allow the soil to dry out too deeply. Begin watering in the morning and water through the heat of the day. Stop in mid-afternoon to allow the plants to dry off before nightfall. Night waterings can create ideal conditions for disease development. During periods of very hot weather, water earlier in the morning.
Watering techniques for lawns and gardens will vary with the season and the species.
Applying the principles of xeriscaping to a yard is fairly simple. It's all about reducing high-water use plants and increasing plants that require little or no supplemental water.
There are a number of irrigation systems available to the homeowner. Selecting the appropriate system depends on region/climate and the lawn and garden's specific needs.
A rainwater collection and irrigation system is one of the best ways for the home to conserve water and make the most of nature's precious resource.