The easiest way to make the switch to less frequent lawn watering is to set the sprinklers to every two to three days for about three weeks. You’ll be amazed that after a month or so on that schedule your lawn will tolerate twice a week watering!
My Bermuda grass lawn, which was getting watered every other day, now gets watered once a week! It’s all about training those roots.
Adjusting your flower bed watering can be an easy task, too. You can begin by putting your flower and rose beds on that every two to three days lawn-type of sprinkler settings, but you’ll have to kept an eye on them, because most bedding plants have shallow growing roots, which need more watering than lawns.
Most people use hand watering for these beds. It’s easy to set your hand sprayer to a shower type of pattern and slowly soak the area. In this heat, check the bedding area the next day and if the top of the soil is slightly moist check it again later in the day to make sure the soil has not dried out — if it has — you’ll have to water.
Also if you want to water less, buy bags of either shredded bark or bark nuggets and use a layer of that mulch to preserve the moisture and also helps with weed control.
Oh, here’s a real trick to see if you have sandy or clay soil in the flower bed. Dig a small 6 inch deep hole and pour two cups of water in it. If the water drains in under ten minutes you have sandy soil so you will have to water a bit more often. If the water sits or drains very slowly for over twenty minutes then you have more clay soil.
Using a planting compost or soil amendment will help with either condition and also will be a major asset in water conservation.
Emilio “Elmo” Telles is a garden expert at Armstrong Garden Center 5816 San Fernando Road, Glendale 91202.