Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

June, 2011
Regional Report

Water Trees Directly at the Roots

When you plant a new tree, drill holes along the length of a PVC pipe and slip it in with the root ball at planting time. The end of the pipe should be above the surface of the soil. When you water, place the hose into the pipe to distribute water directly to the roots.

Vacation Container Care

Prior to leaving for vacation, water container plants well, then group the pots in an inexpensive kiddie wading pool filled with one inch of water. If located in a shady spot, the plants should survive for 1 - 2 weeks.

Wait to Water

Instead of watering lawns on a rigid schedule, wait until the turf grass shows signs of stress. Individual blades will begin to curl at the tips and the lawn will not spring back when stepped on. Also, the color will change from bright green to a dull, blue-green. These are all indicators that the roots are thirsty. Apply water until it begins to run off the surface, wait, then apply again. Infrequent deep watering is preferable to frequent shallow watering.

Prevent Mosquitos

Prevent mosquitoes from taking up residence in saucers by adding a few drops of cooking oil. The oil will prevent mosquito larvae from hatching and also discourage female mosquitoes from laying eggs. If the saucer overflows during watering, refresh the cooking oil.

Used Cooking Water for Indoor Plants

After boiling eggs or steaming vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus, allow the water to cool, then use on indoor plants. Nutrients trapped in the water will supplement fertilizer.

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