Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Become a Water Wise Gardener

This spring has started out extremly dry across WNC. Our lawns are beginning to look and sound crispy as we walk across them. You may be wondering if you should be watering your garden, and if so, how much should you apply? My advice is to follow these tips below. Remember that if you do begin to water, you should continue to water until the dry period is over.

Water-wise tips for gardeners and homeowners:
  • Utilize highly-efficient watering systems such as soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems. These allow water to go directly to the plant roots and not be lost through evaporation. These methods also encourage plants to develop strong root systems by thoroughly soaking into the soil.
  • Water efficiently. Monitor soil conditions to determine how often you should water. A standard recommendation is to apply one inch of water every 7-10 days.
  • If you have a sprinkler system, check it thoroughly for leaks that can result in water loss. Sprinkler systems can be outfitted with rain sensor devices to prevent them from coming on when they are not needed. Some sprinkler systems can be retrofitted to include drip irrigation for plant beds.
  • Set sprinkler systems to appropriate setting of no more than one inch of water a week for most landscapes and gardens.
  • Water plants in the evening or early morning when less evaporation occurs. However, morning watering will prevent most plant diseases.
  • Mow grass to the most appropriate height for the weather conditions. Leaving grass slightly higher in drier weather allows the soil to retain more moisture. It is also important to keep mower blades sharp especially during drier periods.
  • Utilize mulch and compost in plant beds to help retain moisture. Mulch can also help reduce weeds, which will compete with plants for moisture.
  • Collect rain in rain barrels to use for watering as a supplement during dry periods.
For more information on garden irrigation, see this publication.

1 comment:

pressure washer hose said...

Cool! I am sure any gardener want to "Become a Water Wise Gardener" Anyway, thanks for sharing these tips. I've got additional ideas. Keep posting.