Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
The excess rain this year is a change from many years where we are already worried about drought stress on our landscapes. However, excess moisture is causing problems in our landscapes this year from fungal diseases as well as nutrient deficiencies.
Water is essential to life and has no substitute; hence, water-wise practices that conserve and protect water resources are something we all need to use.
During the growing season, it is estimated 40 percent or more of water use is for landscape irrigation. In many cases, the water used for this purpose is water that has been treated to drinking water standards. Plants do not need drinking quality water like we do.
Water conservation is important in home and business landscapes. While leaving automatic irrigation systems turned off, and only turning them on when plants need water, is a much needed practice change in many residential and business landscapes, selecting drought tolerant plants is also important.
This article focuses on drought tolerant shrubs for different functions. While listed as drought tolerant, keep in mind plants need established roots to develop tolerance to dry sites. It is often a deep or extensive root system that makes a plant drought tolerant.
While we can’t ever control or even predict the weather, it is important to have a plan on how to deliver water to our home gardens during the hot, dry months of the summer. While Nebraska may be the capitol of crop irrigation systems, many home gardeners don’t give quite as much thought about water management and delivery in their home vegetable gardens or landscapes.
Aside from reducing water need through some good management practices, delivering water in an efficient and sustainable way is important when planning and planting our home gardens.
With spring weather finally in the forecast, I get excited thinking about my gardening activities for the summer. One of the things that is always on the front of my mind is watering. Will this be another dry year, a normal year (if Nebraska even has normal), or a wet year.