Transcript of "What I’ve Learned About Xeriscape: Are Your Plants in the Right Zone"
VOL. 11, NO. 11 The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension NOVEMBER 20008XVW^]cWT4TbTac Cochise County Master Gardener Tfb[TccTaThe University of Arizona and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. What I’ve Learned “xeros” meaning dry and “scape” health. It’s a simple concept. By meaning vista and therefore the grouping plants with similar irriga- About Xeriscape – definition of “water conservation tion frequency and duration require- through creative landscaping.” ments, the irrigation schedule is Are Your Plants in Here’s a fun fact. While doing re- planned accordingly to water plants the Right Zone? search on Xeriscape I discovered when they need it. that the word has been trademarked Many people who visit my garden and the x should always be For example, say a planting areaare surprised to find out, with the capitalized. consists of an Agave parryii, Acerexception of the vegetable and herb species (Maple), Chilopsis linearisgarden, that it is a “Xeriscape” I have been practicing (a kind (Desert Willow), Dalea pulchragarden. It is full, lush, and attracts word for trial and a lot of error!) (Bush Dalea), Penstemon superbusbirds, butterflies, and other desert the Xeriscape Principles and Zones (Superb Penstemon), Salvia cleve-insects and animals I am fond of. for the past six years. I love and landii (Chaparral Sage), and group-In 1999 my garden required eight embrace them because they are the ings of Zinnias. They are all on oneirrigations and so far this year five. tools for a “maximum results with irrigation line. How would one wa-Unfortunately when the word Xeris- minimum effort” garden. Let’s ex- ter? The table below shows the irri-cape is used images of hostile cacti plore the three Xeriscape Zones and gation requirements of each plantand acres and acres of hot, sterile Xeriscape Principle #3 and how I based on my garden conditions (Igravelscapes comes to mind. It’s an apply them to my garden. know that one gallon of water pene-image that needs an adjustment. trates ten inches of dry soil in my The reasoning behind grouping garden). The word Xeriscape (ZIR-i-scape) plants into Xeriscape Zones is wa-is derived from the Greek word ter conservation and overall plant (continued on next page)PLANT FREQUENCY DURATION (using 1 gph emitters)Agave parryii none-receive sufficient rain (Zone 1) none-receive sufficient rainfallAcer species - Maple once every 2-3 weeks (Zone 1) 3.5 hrs/rootdepth of 35 inchesChilopsis linearis - Desert Willow once every 10-15 weeks (Zone 2/3) 3.5 hrs/rootdepth of 35 inchesDalea pulchra - Bush Dalea once every 12-15 weeks (Zone 3) 2 hrs/rootdepth of 20 inchesPenstemon superbus-Superb Penstemon once every 10-15 weeks (Zone 2/3) 2 hrs/rootcepth of 20 inchesSalvia clevelandii - Chaparral Sage once every 12-15 weeks (Zone 3) 2 hrs/rootdepth of 20 inchesZinnias once every 7-14 days (Zone 1) 1 hr/rootdepth of 10 inches Cochise County Cooperative Extension www.ag.arizona.edu/cochise/mg/1140 N. Colombo, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 450 Haskell, Willcox, AZ 85643(520) 458-8278, Ext. 2141 (520) 384-3594
Which set of plants does one Select plants according to their For a list of desert plants water for? Irrigate for the high horticultural requirements that categorized into Xeriscape Zones water users and it’s probable that match your site and plant them into point your web browser at it’s too much water for the drought the proper Xeriscape Zone. Far too http://home.earthlink.net/~melto tolerant plants, which may decline often I see people choosing plants ncnc/plantlistxeri.htm due to root rot. Water for the that are not appropriate for the drought tolerant plants and the high landscape. This begins a long Next time: Have you Probed water users are sure to die. Either battle of trying to make plants your Garden Lately? – How to way it’s not a very efficient way to behave the way they want them to. determine when and how long to irrigate. Guess what? Plants are going to water the garden. behave the way nature intended I find it’s important to separate them to. So, choose plants, Cheri Melton Master Gardener the Zone 1 and 2 plants. I spent especially for Zones 2 3 that this summer transplanting Budd- work with Mother Nature and will leia davidii (Butterfly Bush) from thrive in your landscape! the Zone 2 garden into the Cuttings vegetable garden where they are THE XERISCAPE ZONES now very happy. My main desert ‘N’ garden is a mix of Zone 2 and 3 Zone 1 - For me it contains plants plants. For areas farthest from the that require regular irrigation Clippings house I plant strictly with Zone 3 (usually once every 2-6 weeks). As plants. Interestingly, I’ve talked to a general rule Zone 1 is located Cochise County Master people who live in town and the closest to the house (and near a Gardeners Association will hold Zone 2 and 3 plants in my garden water spigot) and consists of potted their November 1 meeting at the become, respectively, Zone 1 and 2 plants, a small lawn or water Sierra Vista Library from 5:30 plants in suburban areas due to the feature, annual flowerbeds, and p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (Note change of heat loads created by gravelscapes, vegetables and herbs. Drip irri- time). Guest speaker will be Daryl concrete walls, roads, and houses gation methods are usually applied Smith giving an update on the built so close together you can pass in this area. Plant Sciences Center at the U of A the Grey Poupon to your neighbor Zone 2 - In my garden it consists South Campus. The CCMGA though the kitchen window. I of drought-resistant plants that meeting on January 3 will have happen to live in the “country” so I require deep irrigation (usually Mark Fredlake with the BLM don’t have the traditional front once every 12-15 weeks). This is a “Beaver Project” on the San Pedro yard. If I did, I would plant my good area to use contouring as guest speaker. front yard as a lush Zone 3 garden. techniques such as berms and Who uses the front yard anymore swales to catch and direct CCMGA is offering up to so why water there? Use the Zone rainwater for irrigation or use a $250 grants to school classes. For 1 and 2 plants in the backyard, drip irrigation system. details contact Barbara Kuttner at which is often used and enjoyed by Zone 3 - This is the area where 378-1824. Huachuca Mountain family and friends. Plant selection drought-tolerant plants that require Elementary has received the first would be based on my gardening little or no supplemental irrigation grant for their garden project. preferences such as edibles for are used. If you have any natural feeding family and friends and vegetation and plants in this area native wildlife plants. on your property—keep it. Generally this zone is the Xeriscape Principle #3 is ‘Use furthermost from the house and Appropriate Plants and Zone the probably least visited. The Landscape.’ This means doing the emphasis here is to use plants that Robert E. Call research through good gardening can survive on rainfall alone. Extension Agent, Horticulture books, talking with knowledgeable Construct berms and swales to nursery personnel, Master Garden- catch and direct rainwater for Carolyn Gruenhagen ers, or Garden Club members. irrigation. EditorPage 2
Garden Basics: IRRIGATION TIPS: · Fittings can leak or come apart · IMPORTANT! All drip if the water pressure is too high Popular Irrigation irrigation systems should (use a pressure regulator). Systems include a filter and pressure · Best used on soil surfaces that regulator. are level to ensure even flow · Be sure to run the drip rate.DRIP EMITTERS: A form of irrigation system long enoughdrip irrigation which applies water to reach the root zone! If you BUBBLERS: Flood a small areato the soil at point locations at run the system for only 15 and the water continues to infiltratecontrolled, low flow rates by means minutes with a 1 gph (one into the soil after the bubbler hasof drip emitters. Drip emitters gallon per hour) emitter, only been shut off. The flow rate ofdischarge from 0.5 to 4.0 gallons one quart of water will be bubblers is adjustable from 2.0 toof water per hour (gph). Many applied to the soil/plant. 6.0 gallons per minute (gpm),emitters are pressure compen- · Ideally, trees should have their resulting in application rates muchsating, applying a nearly constant own dedicated irrigation line, higher than soil intake rates.rate of water over a wide range of and flowers and shrubs shouldpressures and elevations. be on another irrigation line, BUBBLER ADVANTAGES: due to the different watering · Wets root areas well, good forDRIP TUBING: Another form of requirements of each. fruit and ornamental treesdrip irrigation in which water is (must expand basins regularlyemitted at equally spaced points (6 SOAKER HOSE: A porous hose to cover the root zone).to 60 inches apart) along a tube. that allows water to seep out along · Bubblers are easy to clean, notThe tubing is semi-rigid with the entire length of the hose. prone to clogging.emitters built right into the tubing. Depending on the type of soakerThese emitters can be pressure hose, operating pressures are from DISADVANTAGES:compensating. Drip tubing dis- 5 to 20 psi (pounds per square · Best used on soil surfaces thatcharge is expressed in gallons per are level. inch). Soaker hoses ooze water atminute (gpm) per 100 ft of · Are only applicable in areas a rate of 0.6 to 0.8 gallons pertubing. where basins can be hour (gph) per foot. It is a good idea to install a filter and pressure constructed to contain theADVANTAGES OF DRIP regulator on a soaker hose system water.IRRIGATION: (choose one that will keep the· Plants may be watered at any pressure below 10 psi). SPRINKLERS: Commonly used time of the day. Since water is for turfgrass applications. applied at the base of the plant ADVANTAGES OF SOAKER Selection of sprinkler type depends and does not get on the leaves, HOSES: on size and shape of area being there is less chance of · Sturdy, easy to hook up, irrigated, and the flow rate and damage/disease to the foliage movable, flexible (can be pressure of the water supply. from too much moisture. snaked around existing plants - Water pressure higher than what is· Irrigation is at ground level, great for vegetable gardens, recommended for the sprinkler right over the roots, so very annual flower beds, plant tends to make small water drops, little water is lost to groupings, and trees). which are subject to evaporation evaporation. · Can either be laid on top of the and drift in windy conditions. Low soil or buried in the soil. water pressure decreases the radiusDISADVANTAGES: · Irrigation is at ground level so of “throw” and does not break up· Emitters can clog, especially little water is lost to the water stream properly, causing since our water is “hard,” evaporation. poor uniformity of application. (contains lots of minerals). Putting a filter on your DISADVANTAGES: (Continued on next page) irrigation system will help. · Hoses can clog especially with· System needs to be inspected Be hard, mineralized water source routinely for problems such as (using a filter will help). leaks and clogged emitters. F or t H u ac h u ca T e l e p h o n e : (5 2 0 ) 5 3 8 -S A V E Page 3
ADVANTAGE OF DISADVANTAGES: meat has not fully matured and is SPRINKLER IRRIGATION: · None! Harvesting rainwater is the cause of the stick-tight · Most effective way to water a “win-win” situation! condition. Harvest is then a matter large grassy areas. of picking up nuts off of the ground FOR MORE INFORMATION: before wildlife does! Com- DISADVANTAGES: Harvesting Rainwater for mercially, mechanical shakers are · High water loss due to Landscape Use by Patricia H. used to shake nuts to the ground evaporation. Water is thrown Waterfall and then they are swept up from out into the air instead of http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/water/ the ground mechanically. Nuts applied directly to the soil. az1052/ need to be separated from the · On windy days, sprinkler water High Desert Gardening - Cochise shucks if they are not already. This can be blown out of the County Master Gardeners Website is done by hand if only a few trees watering pattern, resulting in http://www.ag.arizona.edu/ are involved. Commercially there uneven application of water cochise/mg/ are hulling machines that are a set and excessive evaporation. of brushes that rub the husks off, Ginger Maxey producing cleaned nuts. The final Master Gardener/Ft. Huachuca Water DID YOU KNOW? Garden Conservation Educator step is to crack the shell and just hoses deliver water at a rate of have the meats for eating. This is between 5-7 gallons per minute! done by hand, one nut at a time, or That’s a lot of water!!!! with the aid of one of several nut crackers. On a larger scale, nuts RAINWATERING are placed in a machine that will HARVESTING: The capture, singulate them and mechanically diversion, and storage of rainwater crack them. The meats are removed for plant irrigation and other uses. by hand. Water can be directed to earth Call’s Classic To determine if you had a good berms and swales, or into nut year, collect a sample of your barrel/cistern systems and stored Comments nuts. Clean off all of the shucks for use during dry periods. and weigh it. Crack and shall all I have received many questions the nuts and weigh the remaining ADVANTAGES OF about pecan trees and when to meats. Divide the meat weight by RAINWATER HARVESTING: harvest the nuts. Pecan nuts are the nut weight to get a percentage. · Provides “free” water and ready to eat when the shuck splits. A good nut to meat percentage is reduces dependence on ground The shuck is the husk or fleshy between 50 - 55%. Anything over water. material around each individual 55% is an excellent yield. If this · Sloping ground enhances the nut. The nut consists of the shell was not accomplished, culture effectiveness of using berms and the meat. Commercial harvest practices such as watering and swales. in Cochise County usually begins schedules and fertilization should · Reduces off-site flooding and around Thanksgiving. When the be improved. erosion by holding rainwater nut meat has filled the shell the on the site. husk will start to split, slowly dry, Also on the subject of trees this · Rainwater is a clean, salt-free and open. Many nuts will drop to month, now is NOT the time to source of water for plants – it the ground on their own. After prune fruit and shade trees. Plants also contains dissolved several hard freezes, nuts will are preparing to go into winter on atmospheric nitrogen, a really start to fall to the ground. the high deserts. Pruning is a fertilizer that is lacking in our Sometimes the shuck does not dwarfing, stimulating, and stressful native soils! separate from the nut thus event. Trees and shrubs are moving producing what is called a “stick-tight.” Many times the nut (continued on next page)Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson,Director, Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona and Arizona Counties cooperating. The University of Arizona College ofAgriculture and Life Sciences is an equal opportunity employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutionsthat function without regard to sex, race, religion, color, national origin, age, Vietnam Era Veteran’s status, or disability.The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Cooperative Extension is implied.Any products, services, or organizations that are mentioned, shown, or indirectly implied in this publication do not imply endorsement by the University of Arizona.Page 4
compounds from the leaves andbranches and storing carbohydrates 7KH 9LUWXDO *DUGHQHU³ With the advent of weather satellites, sophisticated sensors,in the trunks and roots. If pruning (O 1LxR /D 1LxD /D 1DGD and more powerful computers,is done now, buds that are going weather scientists have discovereddormant are stimulated and might many more oscillations besides thebegin to grow using energy and About this time every year I ENSO. Our weather in westernother resources that are normally begin wondering what the winter North America is also affected bystored to survive winter and the will be like. Will it be warm or an oscillation in the northernspring push of rapid growth and cool? Wet or dry? In Southeastern Pacific called the Pacific Decadaldevelopment of leaves and shoots. Arizona we have been lucky for the Oscillation (PDO), an ArcticNext spring’s growth takes a lot of last few years to have fairly warm Oscillation (AO), and even a Northenergy and if used up in the fall winters and that has caused a lot of Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). At thisand winter because of pruning folks to buy plants that might be a point, however, the scientists dostimulation can cause plants to little tender for the some of the not fully understand the cause andbecome stressed and even die if winters we have historically had here. I thought it might be effect relationships between thesewinter conditions are severe. All of oscillations and our weather andthis growth needs to occur in the interesting to find out what the weather gurus have to predict they are not able to reliably predictspring before photosynthesis can when they occur.begin anew in deciduous plants. about the winter this year so IEven evergreens’ growing activity surfed to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Scientists at the Climatein the winter slows and in some Prediction Center sifted throughcases stops. Stimulating new (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center at www.cpc.necp.noaa.gov/ historical weather data to filter outgrowth is just opposite of what the products/winter_outlook/. data for winters where ENSO andplant needs to have happen to PDO/AO conditions have beensurvive the winter season. Over the last couple of decades equivalent to those we are Prune most fruit and shade trees we have learned a lot of new things experiencing this year. After look-just before bud swell occurs in late about global weather cycles. ing at all the evidence, they arewinter or early spring between Unless you have been hermetically predicting a winter for NorthFebruary and April. With many sealed in a cave you have probably America that is warmer than theflowering ornamental plants therecommendation is to prune after heard about the El Niño/Southern long term average but generallyflowering occurs. If you have a Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon in cooler than the last three years.question on a specific plants the South Pacific and its sister La Specifically for Arizona, theirpruning requirement contact the Niña that have such a big effect on prediction indicates that theExtension Office in Sierra Vista or global weather, causing droughts in northern two-thirds of the state will (continued on back page)Willcox. Africa and floods in Peru. An ElSource: November 1994 Cochise Niño condition occurs when a hugeCounty Master Gardener Newsletter pool of warm ocean water migrates eastward across the central Pacific 4UKSHKXRobert E. CallAgriculture Agent, Horticulture until it bumps into South America around December (hence the name which refers to the Christ Child in 8KSOTJKXY Spanish). When a huge pool of This is a good time to install cool water moves eastward across a drip system the Pacific we have the opposite of Replace summer mulch with an El Niño condition referred to as fresh mulch La Niña. After several years of Start a winter herb garden extremes, this year we have an Protect plants from frost (The ENSO neutral condition, sort of a bulletin Frost and Frost Pro- “La Nada” year. tection is available from the Cooperative Extension offices) Page 5
ARIZONA COOPERATIVE EXTENSIONU.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRSRT STD Cochise County POSTAGE FEES PAID 450 S. Haskell Avenue USDA Willcox, AZ 85643-2790 OFFICIAL BUSINESS PERMIT NO. G268 PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE $300 Address Correction Requested High Desert Gardening Landscaping Conference February 15 16, 2001 average 2-4°F cooler than last year Precipitation this winter is pre- Scholarships Offered while the southern one-third of the dicted to be near normal. If the pre- state (including Cochise County) diction is correct we should get The Cochise County Master Gar- will average only 0-2°F cooler than roughly the same amount of rain deners Association (CCMGA) is last year. Of course you should re- this winter as we normally get dur- awarding up to five full scholar- member that the prediction only ing the summer monsoons, about 7 ships to the 2001 High Desert Gar- deals in averages. It says nothing to 8 inches in valley areas. This dening Landscaping Conference about specific weather events such will be a pleasant change from last to be held at the Lakeside Activity as the severe cold snap that low- year. Of course if October is any Centre located on Ft. Huachuca, ered temperatures to 6°F in Sierra indication, we might get even more. AZ, on February 15 and 16, 2001. Vista on the 8th of December Applicants are invited to submit an 1978. When buying long-lived Sometime next spring, take a essay on one of the following plants such as trees, remember that look back at the winter and see topics: even though we havent had very how good these forecasts were. Im Gardening for food production Landscaping with native plants cold temperatures for the past few willing to bet there will be some Environmental stewardship years, the law of averages will surprises. catch up with us one of these For details please contact the Co- years. Play it safe and buy only Until next time. Happy surfing. operative Extension Office in Si- plants that are rated as cold hardy Gary A. Gruenhagen, Master Gardener erra Vista or check the web site. for your area. email@example.com