• Cut Down On Outdoor Watering Even As Weather Heats Up - Thursday, July 3, 2008 at
  • July temperatures can easily reach triple digits. Smart watering techniques can keep gardens and lawns from wilting during the summer's hottest days, say experts at Agromin, a Camarillo-based manufacturer of premium soil products.

    Place Mulch Around Your Plants, Gardens And Trees: Mulch consists of various sizes of chopped wood, usually made from recycled trees and other wood materials. Place about 2 inches of mulch around plants and trees to keep roots cool even during the heat of the day. This reduces moisture loss and suppresses weed growth. It also reduces erosion so its use on hillsides and slopes is ideal.

    Water In Early Morning: Use trickle irrigation, soaker hoses or other water-conserving methods. It's also best to water in the early morning, especially during hot summer months, to reduce evaporation. Apply about an inch of water-- enough that it soaks 6 to 8 inches into the soil. With a mulched landscape, you can usually reduce watering schedules to two or three times a week.

    Lawn Water Care: It's best to water only when the lawn really needs it, and then to water slowly and deeply. This trains the grass roots to reach deeper into the ground. Frequent shallow watering trains roots to stay near the surface, making the lawn less able to find moisture during dry periods. Every lawn's watering needs are unique: they depend on rainfall, grass and soil type and the general health of the lawn, but even in very dry areas, no established home lawn requires daily watering.

    Summer Garden Planting: If you haven't had time to plant a garden, you still can grow a variety of vegetables in July and enjoy vegetables by late summer and early fall. These include beans, beets, carrots, corn, cantaloupe, okra squash and spinach. Flowers such as gladiolus, calla lilies, marigolds, zinnias and dahlias can also be planted in July

    Caring For Your Rose Bushes: Remove dried flowers by cutting back to the first leaf after rose flower clusters. This will stimulate growth.

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