With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to review some smart watering tips to improve your landscape in Colorado. After all, amping up water efficiency is good for your pocket book, as well as the planet.
Follow these tips to optimize every last drop of water required by your irrigation system. Over the long run, you’ll enjoy a more sustainable landscape.
Use compost. Regardless of your soil type — sand, clay or loam — compost is one of the single most effective amendments you can provide your garden. In addition to increasing beneficial bioorganisms and nutrients that live underground, compost helps form small clumps of soil that serve as little water storage tanks plant roots can tap into. You can make your own compost at home or buy it from a local nursery.
Water early. Watering in the cooler evening hours sounds good in theory. In actuality, prolonged moisture on leaves and stems overnight makes them more prone to destructive fungus and disease. If possible, set your irrigation timer for the early morning hours. This allows plant roots to drink their fill before the water evaporates, but allows excess moisture on leaves and stems to dry completely. If you hand-water, the cool morning hours are a pleasant way to start the day out of the sun’s harsh glare.
Deep watering. Once plants and trees are established, practice deep and less frequent watering techniques. For most plants, a solid inch of water once a week will be sufficient. Many drought-tolerant plants will require even less. This encourages roots to grow deeper into the soil, rather than spreading out along the surface, which makes for a healthier and more stable landscape.
Install soaker hoses. Talk to your landscape maintenance team about installing soaker hoses around flower and vegetable beds. Soaker hoses provide a gentle, even water source without getting water on plant leaves and stems. Not only is much of this water wasted by evaporating before it can reach the roots, it puts the plants at risk for leaf scorch.
If you have any questions on watering techniques, contact Lifescape Colorado for advice regarding water-wise landscaping in Colorado.