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.
Read the full article: News OK
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.
Read at : Google Alert – container gardening
Container gardening is, in many ways, one of the easiest ways to grow flowers and edibles in your garden. You can take advantage of sunny areas, and it doesn’t matter how awful (or nonexistent) your garden soil is, because you can fill your containers with perfect, fluffy soil. But watering can be a challenge, especially during hot, dry weather. Here are a few tips for keeping your container gardens happy.
Three Easy Ways to Water Container Gardens
The point of these three methods is to provide a steady, slow trickle of water to your container gardens. In hot, dry weather, containers often need to be watered twice a day. If you’re going to be away from home, and are worried about your container gardens drying out, these methods can buy you some peace of mind.
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How To Improve The Drainage Of Plants and Trees In A Surprisingly Cheap and Easy Way
Actually there are many ways to improve drainage using several soils that are readily available for purchase, but if you want to improve drainage in a cheaper and easier way (at least I think so), use a sponge . Yes… you read right — a sponge!
The Agriculture Guide’s Foolproof Way To Improve Soil Drainage Using A Common Sponge:
Buy several sponges or collect them throughout your home.
Locate a pair of scissors.
Begin cutting your sponges into pieces that are the size of a walnut or hazelnut.
Mix these small sponge pieces into the soil around trees or plants that need better drainage.
MY COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem)
Very useful idea, indeed. Instead of using the rather expensive expanded, baked clay pellets (Hydroton, hydrokorrels) as a reusable growing medium, pieces of sponge can play a similar role in the soil (water retention, aeration, …).
I use a rather considerable layer of sponge pieces in the bottom of containers (pots, bottles, trays, …) to create this double function of water stockage and aeration.
When positioning a vertical cilinder of sponge pieces along one or two sides of the container wall, one can also enhance the water retention capacity in containers, thus avoiding irrigation water standing too long at the bottom of a container.
A message from Jasmine HALL
I work with Onlineclasses.org, where we just published entitled “101 Way to Conserve Water in College” Considering this overlap in subject matter with your blog, I thought perhaps you would be interested in sharing the article with your readers? If so, you can find the article here:
( http://www.onlineclasses.org/2010/12/14/101-way-to-conserve-water-in-college/ ) .
Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog.
101 Way to Conserve Water in College
A lot of businesses, households and campuses have recently adopted water conservation plans to save money and protect the environment, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Those of us in the developed world use inordinate amounts of water for personal use, and most of it isn’t used efficiently. With each extra utensil used or toilet flushed, water is wasted, and you can imagine how much water that adds up to on a college campus. Here are 101 ways to conserve water in college, whether you’re a student, college president or professor.
Personal Gardening, Plants and Patio
If you have a garden on your balcony or a bigger plot outside your apartment, be more conscientious about water usage with these tips.
- Use “leftover” water to water plants: Any leftover water you have in a drinking glass or other container should be used to water plants, not thrown out.
- Clear off dirt and other messes with a broom, instead of hosing it down. It’ll get things just as clean and save water to boot.
- Plant during spring and fall: Considered “less water stress times,” spring and fall bring more rain and moisture naturally, so you won’t have to water young plants as often.
- Water in the morning or evening: There’s less chance of evaporation due to cooler temperatures and lower wind speed at this time.
- Use the right fertilizer: Put slow-release, water-insoluble fertilizer on plants only when necessary. Many fertilizers make plants more thirsty.
- Learn how to compost: It’s a life skill you can use to save water.
- Look for native plants: Plant flowers, bushes and trees that are native to your area, as they’ll be used to the conditions and won’t need as much water.
- Make sure sprinklers are correctly situated: Watering the sidewalk is a depressing waste of water.
- Don’t water when it’s about to rain: Pay a little extra attention to the forecast to avoid water waste and killing your plants.
- Watch the soil to find out how much water you need to use: If the soil around a plant starts to pool up, you don’t need to keep watering it.