Editor’s note: Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension Office’s Master Gardener Program, appears every other week during the growing season. It features timely tips and suggestions for your garden and landscape.
By Darrin Parmenter
As May disappears a couple of days from now, summer cannot be too far away.
It seems as if June has the recent history of being really dry and really warm. In fact, during the last three years, Durango has accumulated a grand total of 0.08 inches of precipitation during June and had an average high temperature around 85 degrees.
For most plants, especially those that are recently planted (vegetables, perennials or trees) or have a high water requirement (vegetables and lawns), it can be a tough and stressful period. In general, the vegetable beds should be kept moist, and newly planted trees and perennials should be watered with light, frequent irrigation.
However, when it comes to watering the lawn, homeowners should follow these rules:
Look for signs of wilt that typically show up in the same place. Footprints that remain an hour after traffic typically indicate that irrigation is needed.
When irrigating, water as infrequently and deeply as possible. Apply approximately 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time you irrigate. If you are not sure how much water your sprinklers are putting out, take some shallow containers (pie dishes work well) and place them around the lawn. Turn on the system for 30 minutes, then measure the depth of water in the containers. Multiple by two and you get the amount of water applied in one hour.
Try to steer away from watering the lawn solely based on the day(s) of the week. It may be easier to program or remember, but some weeks may need no watering, while others – depending on the health of the lawn, type of soil, air temperature, etc. – could require three or four waterings a week.
The best reason to have a programmable irrigation system? The ideal time of the day to irrigate the lawn is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This period tends to be cooler, less windy and have a higher humidity rate. But it also coincides with the best time of day for the majority of us to sleep. Dilemmas ...
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.