Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

February, 2012
Regional Report

Apply Water Where it Counts

Every drop of water counts during a drought year. Wait until turf grass shows signs of distress before applying water. The tips of the grass should start to curl and the leaves should turn a dull color and not spring back when stepped on before applying water. Turf grass is tough stuff. Water deeply and infrequently to get your lawn through the drought.

Build a Moat to Water Young Trees

Newly planted trees need water for the first few years to become well established. Build a shallow moat around the drip line of the tree by pulling lose soil from the surrounding area. To water the tree, place a hose inside the moat and allow it to run slowly until the moat has filled with water. Make sure to pull any competing weeds that grow inside the moat. Young trees should be watered at least twice a month during the growing season.

Match Watering Method to Soil Type

If you have sandy soil, you will have to water more frequently than if you garden in clay. Clay soil is denser and holds water longer. Sandy soil does not have the capacity to retain water. Make sure you know what type of soil you have and water accordingly.

Cover Soaker Hoses

To get the most bang for your buck when using soaker hoses, cover them with mulch to prevent evaporation. Covered hoses also last much longer when protected from the suns harmful rays. If using soaker hoses near concrete, make sure they are a few inches away from the edge. As the concrete heats up it inhibits the spread of water.

Use Back Flow Preventers

Use a back flow preventer, available at hardware stores, on all irrigation lines that run off potable water lines. The device will prevent water left over in the system from polluting tap water used inside the house.

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