As discussed in previous articles, the drought is still here and it looks like it doesn’t plan to leave any time soon. All of us are looking for ways to irrigate our gardens, save our lawns and trees, and enjoy our homes. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do when the rain just stops. That doesn’t mean you give up.
Gardens in open spaces are easy to access with the garden hose and to harvest your produce. Unfortunately, there are few ways to control evaporation. Using garden cloth, mulch, and making sure to keep weeds out are pretty much your only hope. These methods should be practiced at all times, but are fine for a short term mild to moderate drought.
Severe and long lasting droughts bring with them strict conservation regulations and requirements that may not allow you to water a lawn or garden. Under such conditions the actual number of gallons of water a household is allowed to use is monitored. This is when homes suffer loss of decorative trees and grass. Even if the gallons of water are rationed, a family shouldn’t suffer the loss of the ability to produce food.
One way to make sure each plant gets the water it needs is to use micro or targeted sprinklers. The smaller the sprinkler, the better control over where the water lands. The key to success is placement of the sprinklers and the amount of water flow.
Placing the sprinkler heads as close to the soil as possible reduces the chance water bounces off leaves and dirt and is wasted. Positioning it close to the plants allow the plant the most opportunity to absorb water.
Water should be set to low flow, just a small amount at a time. Use a timer to automatically turn on and off the water to allow plants time to absorb water between waterings. Check the soil often to determine if you need to reduce or increase the amount of time between waterings and the duration the water flows.