For The Answer
Weekly Express-News Article
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
“Drought Strategies in the Landscape”
June is quite often a high rainfall month in
We may as well begin preparing ourselves for a hot, dry summer complete with drought restrictions. Here are some ways to do that.
The lawn is the largest water user in a landscape. To keep a lawn green in hot weather requires watering every week, but usually not more often that that. Prepare your lawn for once per week watering by shifting to that frequency now. Apply the water that your soil can absorb and apply it infrequently. If you fill your whole soil profile with moisture, the roots will grow into the whole area and have access to the whole reservoir.
If green grass in a drought is not essential to you, and you
Mulch is a key drought resisting strategy. Applying a layer of leaves, bark, pecan shells or other material over the soil reduces evaporation and keeps the soil cool. Roots in a cool, moist soil are more efficient than those in a baked soil. When rains arrive and/or you water your plants, the roots are ready to utilize it.
Apply two inches of a fine mulch to vegetable and flower gardens where plants are small. Four inches or more works well over tree and shrub roots. Mulch is especially important for newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials. Place it over the root system.
The whole topic of planting during a drought is an issue
worthy of consideration.
One good drought tactic is to be conservative about excessive plantings during the period, but utilize containers of bougainvillea, moss roses, lantanas, firebush, pentas (shade or sun), and hibiscus for color. Move them around to create a changing look. Containers require regular watering, but you receive maximum impact for limited water.