Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's raining, do I still need to water?

All this rain has been great for the garden, Bend actually looks rather lush and it it weren't for all the pine trees I would wonder just where I am.

Whenever rain is in the forecast and the day looks precipitous, I always question whether to water my garden, preferring to let watering happen naturally (and to keep the water bill down). But I have been caught out by this when it doesn't rain enough and my plants are already rather dry.
Today was a good example.  It's actually rained a few times and quite heavily as well, but when I went to check the mail about midday, I kicked the top layer of dirt and underneath was all dry.  So far today's rain hasn't done much beyond keeping the dust down and moistening the soil.  I am still going to have to get out and make sure everything gets a deep watering.

If you're not sure whether you need to water or not when it has been raining, scrape the top layer of dirt or stick a screw driver in the soil to see just how deep the moisture went.  This is also a great argument for a Smart Controller that monitors the garden's moisture level and will irrigate appropriately without you having to do anything.

Remember, you are watering the roots of the plant and the water needs to get all the way down to them.  Deeper and less frequent watering is best for the lawn, trees and shrubs.  Encourage deep roots and you'll have stronger plants.

For more questions or if you are in need of gardening, consultation or design services please contact me.  Happy gardening!