Landscaping tips to save water

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Media contact: Trisha Gedon | Senior Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 | [email protected]

While it helps to have a green thumb, keeping an irrigated landscape is key to successful gardening. How much and how often gardeners water can make a big difference in plant health. These factors also have an impact on the portfolio.

Oklahoma is experiencing extreme summer temperatures this year, which may cause gardeners to turn on those outdoor faucets more often, said David Hillock, a consumer horticulturist at Oklahoma State University Extension.

“Parts of Oklahoma received a fair amount of rain early in the season, but we’re still facing severe drought conditions across much of the state as we head into the second half of the season. Add to that record high temperatures, gardeners need to be mindful of water use and conservation this gardening season,” Hillock said. “Some cities are implementing water conservation measures. water to conserve water during the hot summer months, so proper and efficient watering is important.”

When the temperature is high and the humidity is low, plants need a lot of water. It is healthier for plants to be watered deeply, but infrequently. Generally, 1 inch of water per week is recommended, preferably in one application, but this is not always achievable as the soil does not absorb water as quickly as it is distributed.

Hillock said to avoid runoff, watering may need to be done in stages. Water until it forms a puddle, then turn off the water and let it soak for several hours. Then try putting the rest of the water in later that day or the next day. In this heat, and depending on soil type, gardeners may need to apply 2-3 inches per week.

“Letting the water soak into the soil and allowing the soil to dry out a bit between waterings forces the plants to produce strong, deep roots. Just because the top of the soil looks dry doesn’t mean the plants are ready. to drink, but it will depend on your soil type, so be sure to check deeper in the soil occasionally,” he said. “Slight wilting of plants can be an indicator that they have needs more water, but it can also be an indicator of too much water, so occasionally check the soil several inches deep before applying more water, especially if the plant is not straightening up after watering. .”

Mornings are the best time to irrigate because temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter, so there is less loss through evaporation or washout. Watering in the morning prepares the plants to get through the hot day.

Mulch is a great addition to a garden. It can also be used in containers. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, whether gardeners water by hand or plants receive natural moisture from rain. Mulch also helps prevent erosion and controls weeds. It is available in many shapes and colors, which will add visual interest to the landscape.

“Gardeners who have an irrigation system will benefit from installing a rain sensor. A rain sensor turns off the irrigation system during and immediately after a rainfall event,” Hillock said. water consumption, which affects your wallet. Also, make sure the sprinkler heads only water vegetation. There is no need to water the sidewalk or driveway.

Avoid heavy pruning in the summer as this stimulates growth and the plants will need more water. Keep in mind that mature plants and trees require less water because they already have a deep root system.

“Gardening can be tough under the best of circumstances, but especially in drought conditions,” Hillock said. “Proper watering will help keep your landscape healthy and conserve water at the same time.”

OSU Extension offers more information about gardening and lawn care online.

Terri S. Tomasini