June 22, 2009

Calloway's Timely Tip for July Gardeners

Summertime Watering

If you have lived through a summer in Texas, then you know how valuable water is to our landscapes. It is our responsibility to conserve water yet keep our gardens thriving through the heat. If you own a sprinkler system, each zone should be programmed differently depending on the needs and you should always operate it manually.

Established lawns should be watered once every five to seven days, applying about one inch of water. This soaking encourages deeper rooting which leads to stronger, healthier plants.

Shrubs and flowerbeds may require more watering depending on the age of the plant material. A good test is to dig down 4 to 6 inches and feel the soil. If the soil is dry, a good deep watering is in order. Plants in full sun will require more moisture as well as those growing in containers. Please remember, any newly planted tree or shrub requires hand watering for that first year.

The best time of day to water is early morning before the temperatures begin to rise. Also, early mornings tends to be a time of lower winds and thus reduced evaporation.

Mulching is an excellent way to retain moisture. It will also insulate the soil surface from the direct rays of the sun and prevent weeds from germinating. Apply a two to three inch layer of mulch to all beds and plantings. Attend our Free Saturday clinic on July 18th for more water saving ideas.

For a more complete list of clinics, visit http://www.mytexasgarden.com/.