Now the rainy season is finally coming to end here are some tips for a successful watering season. Read our July blog to understand why it's important, even in established gardens to have a watering plan. I know, it's not PC to talk about watering these days, but unless you have all succulents in your garden...you need to make a plan to protect your investment – or you need to make a plan to transition your garden to adapt to our changing weather patterns.

- Irrigation systems should be flushed and checked for blockages and breaks.

-Water soils before they completely dry out to maintain a steady soil moisture.

-Only water once the top 1” of soil is dry.

-Watering deeply twice a week is better that watering lightly every day. Light watering causes plants to develop surface roots and this in turn makes them more susceptible to drought.

-The frequency you need to water will depend on the type of soil you have; sandy soils needs more frequent watering than heavier clay soils.

-Plants that have been in your garden less than a year will need to be watered more frequently than established plants that have large root systems.

-To avoid water loss to evaporation, water at dusk or in the early morning.In our climate early morning is the best most of the year -- so that the leaves have time to dry out during the day. Consistently moist leaves encourage mildew, black spot and other disease.

-During prolonged drought even large well established plants such as shrubs and trees will require watering.

-Layering 2-3” of mulch on your planting beds before the drought begins to decrease water loss from the topmost layers of soil.(winter is a great time to do this to prepare the plants/soil for summer drought – while the leaves are off and all the perennials are down)

-Keeping beds weed free will  decrease the competition for water.

- Make sure your irrigation isn'''''t watering things that don'''t matter – like your sidewalk or driveway.

- It is a good idea to check your irrigation again mid-summer to make sure that perennials haven''t grown up and blocked water nozzles.

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