Water Efficient Gardening - Clallam County, Washington

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Water Efficient Gardening - Clallam County, Washington

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Water Efficient Gardening - Clallam County, Washington

  1. 1. “Water efficient gardening” simply means designing your gardens and landscaping in a way that makes more efficient use of water resources.Outdoor water use on lawns and gardens is where the largest amount of household water is wasted.We want to help you learn some design methods and water use strategies that will help you maintain a beautiful landscape while requiring less work and using less water.
  2. 2. Discussion about how we use different areas ofthe landscapeDesigning areas according to climate and waterrequirements of plants that will thrive in thatclimateRight Plant, Right PlaceNatural landscapes vs. combining native plantswith cultivated speciesLawn alternativesWater management and storage options
  3. 3. How much of your landscape can be viewed from inside the house?How much time do you spend recreating outside in your yard? For example, playing ball with your grandchildren or playing with the dog.Do you need a lawn area for children or pets to play on? Would you be happy with no lawn at all?Do you do a lot of entertaining outside?Do you garden as a hobby and need an area where you can actually “get dirty”?
  4. 4. Limit annual flowers that require more water and fertilizer to the areas of the garden that are viewed on a daily basis such as from a livingroom window or entry walkwayPatios and entertainment areas of the yard can benefit from planting color in containers of varying size and shape to add interest while confining high water use plantsLarge landscape areas that are seldom “lived in” can be planted with low maintenance, low water use natives and drought tolerant species
  5. 5. It can be very helpful to observe and take noteson the sunny, windy and shady areas of theyard during peak water use months May-Sept.Does a deciduous tree provide shade for mostof the day or just a couple hours in themorning?Is there a spot that receives steady prevailingwinds?South facing against the house or outbuilding?Sunny all morning, shady all afternoon? Viceversa?
  6. 6. Soils in Clallam County can vary widely.Large areas of the Sequim/Dungeness valley consist largely of rock and sand with poor water holding capacityLarge areas of Port Angeles are comprised of glacial till or heavy clay with too much water holding capacity. Dry clay can be difficult to accept water and creates runoffWhich type of soil do you have?
  7. 7. Clallam Conservation District has an excellent soil testing program for only $18 per sample testedSoil tests can tell you pH, nitrate-nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, organic matter content levels, and cation exchange capacityThe Conservation Dist. can also help you determine the type of soil you have and will work with you on water management strategies for your type of soil
  8. 8. Success in your water efficient garden depends heavily on choosing the right plant for the right placePlants that are planted in the wrong place struggle to survive and are much more susceptible to pests and diseasePlants chosen should be compatible with the type of soil they are planted in, the amount of sun/shade they receive and the watering requirements of other plants around them
  9. 9. You wouldn’t plant an Arbutus menziesii (PacificMadrone) in a heavy clay soilYou wouldn’t plant lavender in an area that hasheavy soil and is poorly drainedYou wouldn’t plant reeds and sedges in dryshadeYou could plant Madrone in sharp sandy/rockysoilYou could plant lavender in well drained, lowfertility soilYou could plant reeds and sedges in low, poorlydrained areas
  10. 10. If you have an area of the garden where you want to have plants that require more water, be sure to group other water loving plants into that areaFor example:If there are flower beds with roses and annuals outside your big livingroom window, be sure that any other shrubs, small trees etc that will be in the same watering area, have the same water requirements
  11. 11. A natural landscape consists of the same plants that surround your property in the undeveloped areas. You can leave what already exists alone and plant to fill in what was removed previously due to construction or prior property ownersIt is important to observe and note the types of trees in the area and plants growing in the surrounding understory. Take notes!Establishment of new introduced plants will require irrigation for the first 1-3 years and little or no irrigation after that time
  12. 12. Water efficient landscaping can incorporate drought tolerant horticulture plants with native speciesMany native species in the Pacific Northwest have showy blooms and interesting colors and foliage, even in the winter monthsMost native plants, when happy and healthy, have strong resistance to pests and disease and can be virtually maintenance free
  13. 13. Shore Pine Western Hemlock Western Yew All photos courtesy of Washington Native Plant Society and StarflowerWestern Flowering Foundation Cascara Dogwood
  14. 14. Evergreen Huckleberry Salal Tall Oregon Grape All photos courtesy of Washington Native Plant Society and StarflowerPacific Wax Myrtle Foundation Serviceberry
  15. 15. Bracken FernLady Fern All photos courtesy of Washington Native Plant Society and Starflower FoundationSword Fern Deer Fern
  16. 16. Kinnickinnick White Brodiaea Sea Thrift All photos courtesy of Washington Native Plant Society and StarflowerBroadleaf Stonecrop Foundation Lowbush Penstemon
  17. 17. Patios,decks and pathways:
  18. 18. Mulched or densely planted shrub beds:
  19. 19. All photos courtesy of PacificNorthwest Palm and Exotic PlantSociety and their members Seattle, Washington
  20. 20. Gillies Bay, Texada Island, British Columbia Photos Courtesy of Brian and Rosemary Seymour
  21. 21. Gillies Bay, Texada Island, British Columbia Photos Courtesy of Brian and Rosemary Seymour
  22. 22. Rain gardens are a highlyfunctional, environmentallybeneficial alternative totraditional garden landscaping.The design possibilities arealmost limitless!
  23. 23. Knowing how much water your landscape really needs is crucial to water efficient gardeningNew plantings will require irrigation for the first 2-3 summers until plants are well establishedPlanting trees and woody perennials in the fall after the rains begin will ensure strong root establishment and will require much less supplemental water through the first dry season
  24. 24. Overhead watering is the least effective methodof watering, especially for non-lawn areas ofthe garden. It leaves water on foliage whichencourages fungal type plant diseasesLarge amounts of water can evaporate beforeever making contact with the soilDifficult to control the amount of water that isgiven to different areas of the garden
  25. 25. Emitter type watering systems can be set up towater only specific plants in the landscape liketrees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.Drip hose/tape systems can be laid outthroughout the garden areas and deliver waterto the general area around the hose. Can becovered with coarse mulch for appearanceSmall sprinklers set on timers can water generalareas. Use the timer each time you water ratherthan setting it to come on at a designated timeMulch wherever possible with 2-4 inches ofcoarse mulch such as wood chips. Keep mulchback 2 inches from the base of plants
  26. 26. Storing water accumulated over the rainymonths is an option, however without storagevessles of adequate size or number water canbe used up quicklyWhen collecting water in rain barrels, be sure toinstall a screen on the top to prevent debrisfrom entering the barrelsElevating barrels will increase the gravity flowpressureMultiple barrels can be set up using a gutterdownspout diverterOccasionally adding a small amount of chlorinebleach to the barrels will prevent algae fromgrowing
  27. 27. A cistern can be installed to handle largeramounts of water storageExcellent choice to store water from the roofrunoff of larger buildingsCisterns can be stored above or belowgroundUse continuous gutteringElectric submersible pump can be used toprovide adequate water pressureBe sure to filter out debris to preventclogging of the pump
  28. 28. 10,000 gallon community cisternPartially buried
  29. 29. Increasingly, water is becoming a hotpoint issuein many communities, even here in the rainyNorthwestAs populations swell on the Olympic Peninsualawith the retirement of “baby boomers”,restrictions on water use will only increaseCareful planning and thoughtful landscapedesign now will help save money, time andeffort in the futureTraditional input intensive landscaping can bereplaced with beautiful, self sustaininglandscaping that will virtually care for itself

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