Many lawn, landscape and garden problems are caused by the dry weather.
A. During dry periods, set priorities. Water highly visible and intensively managed areas first. Drought-sensitive plants should have high priority and grass should have lower priority.
B. Watering early, between 2am and 8am, while it is cooler and less windy results in less water loss from evaporation and wind drift.
C. On established plantings, irrigate deeply at long intervals rather than watering frequently and shallowly. Deep watering improves drought resistance by promoting deeper, more extensive root systems. Depth of watering should be 6 to 12 inches. One inch of irrigation wets a sandy soil to a depth of about 12 inches.
D. Examine your irrigation system and repair leaks. Make sure the water lands on your plants and grass and not on paved areas.
E. Make the most out of rainwater. Turn downspouts from rain gutters towards areas with plantings. Rainwater can also be collected and stored in a rain barrel for dry spells.
F. Avoid excessive fertilization. Don’t fertilize or, if you do, use a low nitrogen fertilizer. Fertilization stimulates growth.
G. Raise the cutting height of turf. Although taller grass uses slightly more water than shorter grass, a higher cutting height promotes deeper rooting and maintains turf quality longer.
H. Add mulch to beds to reduce evaporation from soil and to moderate soil temperature, reducing stress on roots. Final depth of mulch should be 3 to 4 inches after settling.
I. If possible, don’t use overhead sprinklers for shrub and flowerbeds. Hand water, flood irrigate or use trickle irrigation. Greater water loss can occur with overhead irrigation because of evaporation and wind drift.