The rule of thumb is ‘Water during growing season.’ Plants grow in spring and summer as temperatures heat up, and any supplemental water occurs then, right? It is not that simple for dry-climate plants. Some are warm-season growers that push out new growth in spring through fall and go dormant in winter. Others are cool-season… Read More Water when?
When it comes to water needs, all plants are not alike. After years of tinkering, I learned to regulate flow to each individual plant with 2 indispensable levers. One – tailoring emitters – customizes plants within a zone. The other, described here, customizes irrigation times and frequencies across zones. Both breakthroughs occurred as my confidence… Read More Customize time & frequency
Did a shovel slice a drip line? A rock or staple puncture the tubing? An expelled emitter or goof plug create a crater? A gopher or puppy chew the polyethylene? Two-way compression couplings pictured above work wonders to repair these too-big-to-plug holes. Designed to join 2 tubings to extend lines, couplings come in 1/2″ or… Read More How to fix a big drip line hole
Irrigation is crucial when it seldom rains, and drip (unlike spray) is an effective mechanism to keep plants healthy with minimal waste. But it has some downsides, and now in our 6th year of a drought and 3rd of rationing, a gardener can either get creative or crazed. Drip is just that – a drip… Read More Offset drip’s downsides
Who would have thought waterwise gardening would at times take Holmesian sleuthing? Unexpected increase in a zone’s consumption, change in a plant’s health, or surface moistness are all signs of potential waste. Sometimes, the signs are oh-so-subtle. Take a case with 3 oddities that haunted me for 2 1/2 years: My hypersensitive nose smelled something… Read More Channel your inner Sherlock
A new NASA and Mountain West study reveals that lawn is now 2% of the continental U.S. surface and America’s single largest irrigated crop. Gulp! That’s 40 million acres or 63,000 square miles of green carpet, dominating many regions’ residential water use. Removal, a top priority in dry climates, saves the most hands down. Second… Read More Reform lawn irrigation
Want to radically increase water effectiveness at no cost? Rather than run a zone for its total time, divide duration into 2 or 3 parts separated by a brief respite. This cycle and soak technique minimizes runoff and maximizes absorption. Since implementing it 2 years ago in my one-acre Southern California garden, it has proven… Read More Cycle and soak gardens