In the modern landscape, being water wise is not just turning off the hose for the summer. Most people like the green, lush landscape through the summer, and it is obtainable if you plan ahead.
- Design for plants for your area. (Zone allocation, sun/shade, high and dry ground or low wetlands).
- When planting, water-in your plant material extremely well. Doing this will ensure that the root system can penetrate the native soil and tap into the natural soil moisture and nutrient nearby. We also like to use a type of mychrobial fungi during planting to ensure healthy soil culture.
- A healthy 2” layer of mulch around your plants will hold in moisture, protect your roots from heat/freeze and look good at the same time.
- Use your irrigation (or sprinkler) system with thoughtful planning. Plants need consistency in their watering schedule to help grow deep, healthy roots. Most importantly is a properly installed irrigation system, run times set for early in the morning and use of modern moisture control devices. (Anything from a simple ‘Rain clik’ to the modern station monitoring sensors).
- Finally, yearly (at minimal) you should clean out the crown’s (the base of the plant where the stem meets the soil) of your plants. Excessive buildup of organic matter can actually hurt a plant by suffocation to the root system and giving an environment for fungi/insects to grow. Un-like the old wives’ tale, I don’t feel this helps with water conservation as much as one would think.
During this hot summer, most people are frantically trying to find ways to keep their landscapes looking their best. This water wise topic should not only be during the heat of the summer, but during all seasons in the landscape.
Realizing that several of these topics are a bit more involved than others, please feel free to contact us for products or advice.