Water Wise Gardening

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Water Wise Gardening

  1. 3. WATERWISE LANDSCAPING Bill Taylor, University Extension Educator Weston County Extension Office The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
  2. 4. WHY? <ul><li>50% of household water consumed by turf and landscape plants. </li></ul><ul><li>Water demands can be decreased by 30%-80% with proper irrigation practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Seas of “gravel, asphalt, and plastic” create higher temperatures and cooling costs, and damage trees and shrubs. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces mowing and grass care. </li></ul>
  3. 5. So, What Is Waterwise Landscaping? An attractive, sustainable landscape that conserves water and is based on sound horticultural practices.
  4. 7. SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF WATERWISE LANDSCAPING
  5. 8. PLAN & DESIGN COMPREHENSIVELY <ul><li>View </li></ul><ul><li>Slope </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Soils </li></ul><ul><li>Existing Vegetation </li></ul><ul><li>Use </li></ul>
  6. 9. DESIGN – STEP 1
  7. 10. DESIGN – STEP 2
  8. 11. DESIGN – STEP 3
  9. 12. DESIGN – STEP 4
  10. 13. EVALUATE SOIL AND IMPROVE IF NECESSARY <ul><li>Soil test </li></ul><ul><li>Do shaping, filling, removal, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilization and/or amendments </li></ul><ul><li>Organic matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peat moss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Till in fertilizer, amendments, organic matter </li></ul>
  11. 14. GRADING <ul><li>Change slopes if needed to allow water to soak in rather than run off. </li></ul><ul><li>Plants with greatest water need are put where grading provides water. </li></ul><ul><li>Rock gardens work well, but avoid raised beds. </li></ul>
  12. 15. CREATE PRACTICAL TURF AREAS <ul><li>Purpose and function </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children playing, sitting, soft, comfortable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ground cover, back lot, utility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Travel </li></ul><ul><li>Shaded, under trees & shrubs (consider no turf here) </li></ul><ul><li>Separate and tend (water) these areas individually </li></ul>
  13. 16. USE APPROPRIATE PLANTS AND GROUP ACCORDING TO WATER NEEDS <ul><li>High water demand (smaller areas) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kentucky bluegrass, water gardens, succulents, most annuals, willows, cottonwoods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medium water demand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other cool season grasses, some annuals, many perennials, many shrubs and trees, native plants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low water demand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Warm season grasses, cactus, yucca, some perennials, some shrubs and trees (pines and junipers) and native plants </li></ul></ul>
  14. 17. CHOOSE APPROPRIATE GRASSES <ul><li>Kentucky bluegrass requires ~40” of water per year - our climate is 1/4 to 1/2 of that in most places. </li></ul><ul><li>Native sod-forming grasses (e.g. western wheatgrass, blue grama, buffalo grass) can thrive here without supplemental water. </li></ul><ul><li>Fescues and crested wheatgrass varieties are other possibilities. </li></ul>Blue Grama
  15. 18. LOW WATER DEMAND PLANTS <ul><li>Needles instead of leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Waxy coating </li></ul><ul><li>Deep root system </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate regeneration systems </li></ul><ul><li>Warm season dormancy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to surge when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>moisture occurs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Often will stay green and add growth throughout the season if moisture continues to be present </li></ul>
  16. 19. WATER EFFICIENTLY WITH PROPERLY DESIGNED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS <ul><li>Group plants and establish watering zones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each zone is watered according to the needs and demands of the plants included </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine best irrigation method for each zone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Underground sprinkler, hose sprinkler, open hose, drip irrigation, flood </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Irrigate by need, not by </li></ul><ul><li>schedule </li></ul>
  17. 20. WATERING <ul><li>Water deep </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turf - 8-12 inches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trees - 2-3 feet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use test holes or probe to determine irrigation time required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water just before stress appears </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Turf - turns blue-green, leaves tracks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trees/shrubs - leaf wilt, leaf burning/browning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how often this is for each of your zones in different kinds of weather </li></ul></ul>
  18. 21. WATERING (cont.) <ul><li>Sprinkling is the least efficient (evaporation) - drip most efficient </li></ul><ul><li>Water in cool of the day - preferably early morning </li></ul><ul><li>Water trees once a week to once a month </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stop watering in September and October to harden-in for winter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give another good drink in November if ground unfrozen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water during winter whenever temperature is 45°F or above (especially evergreens) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. USE ORGANIC MULCHES TO REDUCE EVAPORATION <ul><li>Bark or wood chips - best </li></ul><ul><li>Poorer - straw, sawdust </li></ul><ul><li>Only use rock and plastic in non-root areas </li></ul><ul><li>Overlay on weed barrier with lawn edging for best results </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal - to drip line of all trees </li></ul><ul><li>Under shrubs and ground covers, in flower bed and gardens </li></ul>
  20. 23. PRACTICE APPROPRIATE MAINTENANCE <ul><li>Proper pruning </li></ul><ul><li>Weeding </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilization </li></ul><ul><li>The higher the water demand in a zone the more organic matter should be added and maintained </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compost, peat moss, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintain the irrigation system - especially drip and automatic systems </li></ul>

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