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Water Wise

by gardengirl

Cypress_creek_arm_of_lake_travis_1-18-13.large
The low lake....Cypress Creek arm of Lake Travis

Guidelines for water use in the landscape.

Water, as much of the country knows, is at a premium these days. While our recent rain in Central Texas has been truly awesome, our lakes are still extremely low.  According to the LCRA, our temps are predicted to be slightly hotter than average and our rainfall either normal or slightly below for the summer. TCWID #17 implemented stage 3 drought restrictions. So, we need to be wise about our water use.

 

I recently received a terrific email from the National Garden Bureau addressing garden watering. They suggest watering in the morning because less water is likely to evaporate. Watering in the evening can leave the foliage damp, which will create a disease friendly environment. Watering thoroughly and deeply is better than watering frequently. This allows for the plant to establish a deep and strong root system. On average, plants need about an inch of water a week. If you are growing tomatoes, however, they need a consistent amount of water to prevent blossom end rot. Be sure your flower beds are mulched – this helps conserve the water you put on the bed, keeps the soil cool in our summer heat and suppresses those pesky weeds.  

 

To keep your turf in top shape this summer, mow it to the recommended height for the variety, water deeply and infrequently to send the roots deeper into the soil and don’t over fertilize it. Drip irrigation is also great way to water efficiently and isn’t subject to the water restrictions. If you want to learn more about it, there will be a class ‘Setting Up and Using Drip Irrigation’ at Zilker Botanical Garden, Saturday July 13 (10am-12pm).  Creating a Drought Resistant Garden in Central Texas by the Travis County Master Gardeners Association is a terrific book with topics ranging from landscape design and plant varieties to how to irrigate efficiently and how to set up a rainwater harvest system. These are a few of many great resources available so that the home garden will not only survive, but thrive in the dry season ahead.  Happy Gardening!

Tags

drought, water wise

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