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

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Water Wise Gardening

  • 1.  
  • 2.  
  • 3. WATERWISE LANDSCAPING Bill Taylor, University Extension Educator Weston County Extension Office The University of Wyoming is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.
  • 4. WHY? 50% of household water consumed by turf and landscape plants. Water demands can be decreased by 30%-80% with proper irrigation practices. Seas of “gravel, asphalt, and plastic” create higher temperatures and cooling costs, and damage trees and shrubs. Reduces mowing and grass care.
  • 5. So, What Is Waterwise Landscaping? An attractive, sustainable landscape that conserves water and is based on sound horticultural practices.
  • 6.  
  • 7. SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF WATERWISE LANDSCAPING
  • 8. PLAN & DESIGN COMPREHENSIVELY View Slope Exposure Soils Existing Vegetation Use
  • 13. EVALUATE SOIL AND IMPROVE IF NECESSARY Soil test Do shaping, filling, removal, etc. Fertilization and/or amendments Organic matter Peat moss Compost Till in fertilizer, amendments, organic matter
  • 14. GRADING Change slopes if needed to allow water to soak in rather than run off. Plants with greatest water need are put where grading provides water. Rock gardens work well, but avoid raised beds.
  • 15. CREATE PRACTICAL TURF AREAS Purpose and function Children playing, sitting, soft, comfortable Ground cover, back lot, utility Travel Shaded, under trees & shrubs (consider no turf here) Separate and tend (water) these areas individually
  • 16. USE APPROPRIATE PLANTS AND GROUP ACCORDING TO WATER NEEDS High water demand (smaller areas) Kentucky bluegrass, water gardens, succulents, most annuals, willows, cottonwoods Medium water demand Other cool season grasses, some annuals, many perennials, many shrubs and trees, native plants Low water demand Warm season grasses, cactus, yucca, some perennials, some shrubs and trees (pines and junipers) and native plants
  • 17. CHOOSE APPROPRIATE GRASSES Kentucky bluegrass requires ~40” of water per year - our climate is 1/4 to 1/2 of that in most places. Native sod-forming grasses (e.g. western wheatgrass, blue grama, buffalo grass) can thrive here without supplemental water. Fescues and crested wheatgrass varieties are other possibilities. Blue Grama
  • 18. LOW WATER DEMAND PLANTS Needles instead of leaves Waxy coating Deep root system Alternate regeneration systems Warm season dormancy Ability to surge when moisture occurs Often will stay green and add growth throughout the season if moisture continues to be present
  • 19. WATER EFFICIENTLY WITH PROPERLY DESIGNED IRRIGATION SYSTEMS Group plants and establish watering zones Each zone is watered according to the needs and demands of the plants included Determine best irrigation method for each zone Underground sprinkler, hose sprinkler, open hose, drip irrigation, flood Irrigate by need, not by schedule
  • 20. WATERING Water deep Turf - 8-12 inches Trees - 2-3 feet Use test holes or probe to determine irrigation time required Water just before stress appears Turf - turns blue-green, leaves tracks Trees/shrubs - leaf wilt, leaf burning/browning Learn how often this is for each of your zones in different kinds of weather
  • 21. WATERING (cont.) Sprinkling is the least efficient (evaporation) - drip most efficient Water in cool of the day - preferably early morning Water trees once a week to once a month Stop watering in September and October to harden-in for winter Give another good drink in November if ground unfrozen Water during winter whenever temperature is 45°F or above (especially evergreens)
  • 22. USE ORGANIC MULCHES TO REDUCE EVAPORATION Bark or wood chips - best Poorer - straw, sawdust Only use rock and plastic in non-root areas Overlay on weed barrier with lawn edging for best results Ideal - to drip line of all trees Under shrubs and ground covers, in flower bed and gardens
  • 23. PRACTICE APPROPRIATE MAINTENANCE Proper pruning Weeding Fertilization The higher the water demand in a zone the more organic matter should be added and maintained Compost, peat moss, etc. Maintain the irrigation system - especially drip and automatic systems
  • 24.  
  • 25.  
  • 26.