Temperatures, watering times down this year
By Rodd Moesel
This year we have yet to reach 100 degrees and have been blessed with regular refreshing and thirst-quenching rains.
What a difference a year or two makes! In recent years at this time, we had already experienced triple digit heat several times and had been watering regularly to beat a punishing drought.
This year we have yet to reach 100 degrees and have been blessed with regular refreshing and thirst-quenching rains that have dramatically reduced how much time we have had to spend watering to grow and sustain our trees, shrubs, gardens and lawns.
Normally we would slow down on planting at this time of the year and focus on mulching, watering and trying to support or sustain the crops we have already planted. With the extra moisture in our top and sub soils and the milder conditions this year, you can still experience great success planting container-grown trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials and even warm-season vegetables as long as you will be faithful and dependable in watering when needed between our natural rains.
This is prime container gardening season as many folks are spending more time outside on the patio, the front porch or in their back yards. You may be entertaining guests and want to dress up your apartment, condo or home with the extra color and excitement of live plants. Container gardens give you two opportunities to make a design statement. One is with the container you select. It can be anything from a traditional black nursery container to a decorative terra cotta or other color plastic or foam pot. It can be a whisky barrel, an old wash tub, a wheelbarrow or other imaginative container that can hold soil.
The big issues that affect container gardening success are the size of the container and how much soil it can hold, drainage holes for water to escape from the container and the quality of soil used in the container.
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Photo credit: Hubpages
Morning sunshine hitting a patio garden growing tomatoes and peppers. A couple of the plants are more than 6 feet tall.
Source: ©2015 Studio 2-Dawgs
Grow Veggies Anywhere with These DIY Self-watering Containers
An Idea That Made Container Gardening (Almost) Foolproof
A recent development in gardening technology is the emergence of the sub-irrigating(a.k.a. “self-watering”) container. This idea has helped make it possible for more people to grow some of their own food – and more kinds of it – in places we never imagined, such as patios, apartment balconies, or even abandoned parking lots and city building rooftops. What does a self-watering plant container do? Does it mean you’ll never have to water it?
Not exactly. You do have to water it, but not nearly as often, and it takes all the guesswork out of knowing when to add water, and how much to add.
A sub-irrigating container design based on 2 5-gallon buckets.
Source: Studio 2-Dawgs
Read at : Google Alert – container gardening
Try no-fuss way to water plants
Elena Acoba Special To The Arizona Daily Star
If watering your potted plants is becoming a chore, consider putting them on an automatic irrigation system.
It’s especially lifesaving in the summer when gardeners don’t often venture outdoors to water plants, says Marylee Pangman, owner of The Contained Gardener.
“They could die in a day of missed watering,” she says.
Properly installed systems also ensure that plants are watered deeply enough and throughout the soil.
Water needs of potted plants differ from plants in the ground, so Pangman recommends a separate dedicated line for them.
“You don’t worry about how many gallons per hour is going in,” she says. “What we want is to saturate the soil all the way through so it runs out the bottom.”
That could take no more than 10 minutes, far less than ground watering.
And because soil in pots dry out quickly, you’ll want to irrigate more often than for plants in the ground.
Here are Pangman’s other tips for using an automatic irrigation line:
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Read at : Google Alert – desert gardening
Water-wise gardening tips
Water-wise gardening is a hot topic. Landscape irrigation accounts for 50% of the average household’s water usage. As more communities are forced to regulate and reduce water usage, conservation efforts are directed, first and foremost, to educating homeowners about water conservation in the garden. Some of the terms used in discussions about water-wise gardening may be unfamiliar or a little confusing. Here is a brief explanation of a few of the most commonl used terms in discussing water- wise gardening.
Xeriscape: The word “xeros” comes from the Greek word for “dry.” Some earlier examples of xeriscape gardening did indeed look dry, dusty and empty with a few cacti and other desert natives scattered over barren soil. Newer methods of teaching xeriscape gardening include:
– Adding organic materials (compost, humus) to create well-draining soil that holds water well.
– Topping planting beds with a 6- to 8-inch layer of mulch to cut water needs in half.
– Reducing the size of the lawn.
– Replacing thirsty turf grass with drought-tolerant ground covers or perennials.
– Choosing native perennial plants or those that are suitable for the local climate.
Hydrozone: Refers to the practice of grouping plants with similar irrigation needs together. Gardens can be designed so that heavy water users such as roses are irrigated separately from more drought-tolerant plants.
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Container Plants: Water From Base vs. Top
Container plants let you garden even when you don’t have a patch of earth to call your own. Container gardening brings plants up close, adding color and interest to patios, decks, and porches, and providing indoor rooms with a touch of nature. Growing plants in containers allows you to maintain control over the quality of soil, and makes it easier to manage weeds and pests. Yet many find it challenging to keep container plants thriving. When container plants go bad, often the culprit is the method of watering.
Most people water plants in containers from the top. Some prefer watering from the bottom. While there are certain circumstances where one method is preferred over the other, it is important to remember that to plants, all that matters is that roots get the moisture they need to thrive, neither too little, nor too much. Before deciding whether to water from the bottom or from the top, other factors need to be considered. To reach the right balance of moisture, plants need more than water. They need the right soil and the right amount of drainage.
Soil for Container Plants
Ordinary garden soil is generally too heavy for use in container plants.