Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Watering Tips

It's summer time, which is tough on plants in our home gardens. Here's some great advice from Merredith Giles of the Great Outdoors on how to water wisely.

A few high points:
First, get your plants on a sensible watering schedule. Most plants, even newly planted, should not need to be watered every day, if watered properly. A good watering is long and slow, allowing water to permeate the soil on multiple levels and reach deep into the root ball and surrounding soil. I am often amazed as I watch my neighbors shoot a hose at their flower beds for 20-30 seconds and then tell me they are “watering”. I spend at least 5 minutes watering areas that need it.
If you have a sprinkler system, it should run at least 20-30 minutes per zone, but no more than twice a week. When it gets really hot, I would like to see a short cycle, maybe 5 minutes, to “prepare” the soil to accept water, then a longer, 15-20 minute cycle, to soak in.
If your plant is watered well and still wilts to a full droop every day, perhaps it is not the right plant for the area.
Don't forget, Cherrywood hoodies, that we're under Stage 1 watering restrictions in Austin.

Why are we talking about home landscapes in a blog about a greenbelt? Well, conserving water in our home gardens keeps water in our aquifers and lakes, and watering wisely can lead to less run-off and protects our creeks. It can also keep plants alive better (and more efficiently) to support wildlife that is shared with the Reach.

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