Overhead sprinklers are useful for watering lawns and large spaces. The best way to water gardens efficiently and effectively is to surface water. Drip systems and soaker hoses conserve water. They target specific areas and add moisture directly to the soil at your plants’ roots where they need it most.
Place tubes and hoses in and around your beds, about two feet apart. Add an extra loop around moisture-loving flowers and shrubs like Hydrangeas. Then add a light layer of mulch, to help reduce evaporation even more.
Once your system is in place, water long and deeply. Time how long it takes for the top 6-8 inches of soil to become saturated (or 8-12 inches for large shrubs and trees). Then you can use an automatic timer to insure your plants are getting just the right amount of water to keep them happy.
And remember, the best time give plants a drink is early in the morning. This prevents disease and avoids evaporation.
Traditional grass lawns need about an inch of water a week (including rainfall) to stay healthy and green. If you have an irrigation system, be sure to test it every year and make sure your sprinkler heads are watering the grass and not your driveway!
Oscillating sprinklers are great for small lawns, and pulse sprinklers work best for large areas. A rain gauge is a handy tool to help you determine how long you need to water.
Another way to conserve water is in your choice of plants. When planning your landscape, group plants with the same watering needs together. Combine drought-tolerant bloomers like Rock Rose, Lavender, Rosemary, Coneflower and shrubs like Barberry and California Lilac.
Groundcovers are a great alternative to grass, just think – no mowing! Groundcovers like Brass Buttons (Leptinella) and Elfin Thyme, mimic the look of lawns, and need a fraction of the water and care. Or plant blossoming native Kinnikinnick or Vinca, both are great alternatives reducing your lawn’s watering footprint.
13625 NE 175th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072
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