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Water smart this summer. Photos Leslie Halleck

In The Garden: 5 Summer Watering Tips

So it has gotten a little toasty over the last week or so. Not that we don’t expect intense heat in July, it’s just that we got spoiled with a really mild spring and June! You may have noticed your garden plants drying out very quickly in the 100 degree temps. With water restrictions in place, it’s important to apply water to our landscapes with conservation in mind. So I thought I’d offer up a few tips to help you keep your landscape through the heat.

Do you know where your water is actually going? Time for an audit...
Do you know where your water is actually going? Time for an audit…
  1. Have your irrigation system audited. That means have a licensed irrigation run a check on your system to look for leaks, broken heads or nozzles that are wasting water. They can also help you learn how to properly program your controller and decide how long to water each zone.
  2. Water DEEP. Shallow watering is no good for plants in general…but it’s practically useless in 100 degree heat. Shallow watering encourages shallow weak roots. The goal is to saturate the soil to a depth of 6-inches.
  3. Water early in the morning. Before 8am is best. Give the water time to soak in and be taken up by plants before it heats up and evaporation increases.
  4. Use soaker hoses and Treegator® bags to keep trees watered during the heat and tight watering restrictions. If you haven’t noticed, our urban trees have suffered greatly during the drought of the last few years. Tree damage and loses have spiked in Dallas. Remember, soaker hoses must be run for longer times than your sprinkler system, but save water overall.
  5. Have raised beds? If they aren’t hooked up to drip lines, give the Oya™ natural watering vessels a try. A new take on a very old watering method, the Oya™ is a terracotta vessel that can be buried in your raised beds and garden beds. You fill it with water which slowly wicks into the soil through the clay. Pretty and functional.

Haven an old irrigation system? It’s probably time to start thinking about renovation. You’d be amazed at how much water waste there is with inefficient and old irrigation systems. There are some simple fixes, like lower pressure nozzles and drip lines that can help plug the dam! Don’t forget rain barrels: Catching rainfall to use during dry times is a garden lifesaver! #waterwise