How do you know if you are watering properly? We often find that when we visit a site that the pre-existing landscape has not been getting watered properly. Proper watering will make your plants more drought tolerant, more resistant to disease and well more beautiful. You can always have us out for an assessment and to adjust your system by contacting us here.
Here are a few tips:
1) Take the time to know your soil. Ask yourself does your soil drain fast, moderate, slow? Is your soil clay, loam. sandy loam? Do you have hardpan or layers of rock and mineral deposits that reduce water penetration? Is your soil dry, wet, exposed to the elements? There are a few simple soil tests which can be completed to test. Once you have the answers to these questions you will have a better idea on where to start.
2) Do you understand your irrigation system if you even have one at all? Do you know how to operate your timer, your valves, Do you have drip? Are there pressure regulators on your drip system? Are all of the drip emitters functioning properly? Are you loosing water anywhere? Is your system PVC based or polyethylene? Maybe it's a combination. Do you have multiple lines for different types of plants? You need to understand your entire system and your soil to make them work together.
3) How about your plants? Do you know all or most of your plants and their needs? We often find trees on the same line as small shrubs etc. This is a common factor for poor health of both. It is important that your irrigation is set up properly to not waste water while also making sure that each type of plant has its needs met.
We could go on but that all being said here are a few basics:
Water early and water deep. A good rule of thumb is to water when the ground is cool as the soil is able to absorb more moisture when at a cooler temperature. Trees and large shrubs should be watered to a depth of 3', Medium sized plants to about 2', Perennials and many smaller plants to 1'. lastly, ground covers should be watered to 6-12" deep. If you have hard compacted or clay soil this means that you should water for a longer period of time. In some instances you many need to run your irrigation for upwards of 2-3 hours to get enough penetration for the larger plants. If you have a fast draining soil you may only need to water for a short period of time to get the penetration but you will likely need to water more often as in multiple times per day on your watering days. If you would like us to test contact us here.
Mulch (not bark, not cedar) or other plants, not gravel, not lawn, not bare dirt is the best option to improve your soil, reduce evaporation and so forth.
Using drip or in some cases bubblers is your best option. If you have sprinklers it would be wise to have them converted to drip. You will use a lot less water and when you do water your watering will be more efficient.
Plants help break up compacted soil and to improve soil health over time. The more you pant the better your water penetration will become.
We feel like this is a good starting point. If you have any questions or would like a site assessment ($199 refundable if we install a new landscape) please get in touch.