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Editorial

Lawn and Garden


Wise Watering



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07/01/2008 - Summer seemed to come a little late this year in Casper, but now I think it is trying to make up for lost time because it has been very hot lately. With the hot weather come new gardening challenges.

With the wet spring everything grew at a tremendous rate. I haven't seen evergreens in this area put on new growth like they did this year for a long time. In order to keep the new growth on your trees, and other garden plants, in good condition for the rest of the summer be sure that you give them some supplemental water. Now that the rain has stopped coming so frequently they will likely need your help to continue thriving. On established trees and shrubs a good deep watering two times a month should be sufficient. On newly planted trees and shrubs or herbaceous garden plants, the frequency will need to be much higher, maybe even 2-3 times a week. Producing plants such as tomatoes and other garden vegetables will likely require water every day or two.

In order to give your plants the water they need without running your water bill through the roof there are a few simple things you can do. First, make sure that the water you apply goes to an area where the particular plant you are trying to help can utilize it best. A newly planted tree or shrub only has roots in the area it's original container displaced in the ground. So it is a good idea to build a water reservoir to this size, and fill it up when you water, rather than sprinkling the whole area around the plant. This will not only save you water, but it will also help the water get much deeper, down to where it can be of use to the plant.

Also, if you have a vegetable garden it works very well to dig a small ditch next to your plants and to fill it up with water every couple of days, rather than sprinkling them for 20 minutes every evening. This will cut your water usage, help the plants develop deeper root systems, and cut your weeding time.

Second, water in the morning when possible. This will give your plants a good reservoir of water to go through the hottest part of the day, and will also help keep fungal diseases at bay.

Finally set up a schedule that seems to work for your plants, and stick to it; become a habitual waterer. This will make it much less likely that you will miss a day and cause distress or death to your plants. With a little planning it is very easy for a person to have a great looking yard, and still conserve water. I hope the rest of your summer in the garden goes well.

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