July is Smart Irrigation Month, which reminds us that to be wise in how we irrigate our Landscapes and Gardens areas. Water is our most precious resource. It is very important to conserve our water during the hot summer months and when in drought areas of the country. Conserving your water will save you money as the price of water continues to rise.
Here are some smart ways to water your garden or landscape:
You don't need to water your lawn every day. During the summer months you only need to water every five to seven days. Your lawn only needs about one inch of water a week. You can buy a rain gauge to help keep track of how much water your grass is getting. The best time to water your lawn and plants is early in the morning or at night when the temperature is lower.
Mister Landscaper sells a timer that you can set to water your landscapes & garden beds when you want to. This will make smart watering very easy and avoid over or underwatering your plants. Mister Landscaper also sells a DIY easy to install low-flow Micro and Drip Irrigation kits that will use 50% to 70% less water then standerd irrigation. This will help keep the green in your garden as well as in your wallet! In the long run you will save water, time and money. Using mulch or graound cover also helps to retain moisture in the soil which means you have to water less overall.
For Smart Irrigation Month Mister Landscaper created a coloring book as a fun way to help teach kids about how to water wisely. You can download it by clicking this link.
Some other simple tips to save water and re-use it in the garden are...
If you are going to take a bath use the water after you are done to water your plants.
If you take a shower put a bucket in the shower to catch the water. When you are done use it to water your plants.
Rain Barrels, we have all heard of them. Getting one set up is not that hard, and you can use Micro and Drip Irrigation with them. Companies like Aqua Barrel make small pumps that cary the water in the barrel's to attached hoses for easy use. Check them out at http://www.aquabarrel.com
If you have any other smart watering tips you can join us on Facebook. We would love to hear from you.
I want to wish all of you a smart watering day.
A well manicured landscape is something to be noticed. Beautiful Trees, shrubs, Flowers, and other types of plants fill the yard space with a combination of balance and design that can adorn the outside of a home much like jewelry on a beautiful woman.
While there are countless examples of wonderful landscape designs available online, something special began to catch my eye. I noticed that some of these landscapes had edible plants used in their layout. This seemed to me like such a fabulous idea that I wanted to know more, so I began to research this trend and found out that it is becoming quite popular to ad edible plants to landscape designs, or even to completely use edible plants for the landscape.
There are a great many benefits to having edible plants in the yard. The first being, they are edible. This can save some time, and money by avoiding going to the grocery store, just walk outside and pick your favorite veggie or fruit off your own plant. The Second benefit is that they are healthy. We always talk about how we want to eat healthier around our house. What better way to do that then to surround our yards with healthy plants that encourage us to consume more fruits and vegetables. A third benefit, is that growing edible landscapes is a "green" way to landscape a yard because the fruits and veggies that are grown in the yard don't have to be shipped across country or around the world to end up on your table. And last, but certainly not least, if it is grown in your yard, you know what went into it, and on it, so there is less worry about strong pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and more time to enjoy the fruits of your yard.
This kind of landscaping will continue to gain in popularity as people tire of using water and other resources for large grassy areas that do little more then ornament the yard. Edible landscapes can help feed us and turn our yards into ecosystems. Fruit-bearing trees, bushes and perennial vegetables can be a part of a productive landscape, especially when mixed in with native and drought-resistant ornamentals. Ad to that low flow irrigation products such as micro & drip irrigation and one can create a sustainable landscape with not just color, but flavor as well.
With the prices of food rising in much of the country this is, no doubt, a trend that will continue to grow, leaving many a front and or back yard full of tasty treats.
A few years ago, a good friend of mine took the time to plant a wonderful
small garden in his back yard. He lay down a row of squash and zucchini and
was looking forward to what it would yield. The plants grew nice and lush.
He watered and fertilized as required. Then they began to bud, marking the
beginning of the lovely vegetables. Everything was going according to plan.
My friend was disappointed a few weeks later when the plants never produced
any vegetables. He scratched his head thinking about what he might have
forgotten to do. As he went down his checklist, it never once occurred to
him that the solution to his dilemma was as simple as four letters. B E E S!
Later, another friend of his at work told him that more than likely what had
happened was a lack of our buzzing friends who are responsible for
pollinating our plants. Quite simply, when the vegetable plants budded,
there were no bees around to spread the pollen. Could it be that simple? The
answer is yes.
Anyone who has lived in Florida for a considerable amount of time has driven
by an orange grove. The white stacks of wooden crates in the middle of the
grove? Those are bee hives. They ensure the trees will produce oranges next
fall. Amazing, isn't it?
Next time you are in your garden, and you notice a few of our hard working
friends buzzing around, just let them be. They're doing you a huge
favor--what they were meant to do.
Dryer conditions can happen anytime and anywhere. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do to make your home and landscape more water efficient, while still making a visual impression on the design.
A new trend has been popping up in many arid and drought-affected climates that combines landscape design with efficiency and conservation. Many of the cascading water fountains in these regions have been turned into planters. Where water used to pour over the rims of these fountains, plants have taken its place - creating a unique design element that raises the eye above the ground and gives structure, dimension and focus to the overall landscape.
Mister Landscaper happened upon this great example of how these fountains can be transformed at the EPCOT Flower & Garden Show, so we wanted to share it with our customers.
Below is a step-by-step, how to turn your fountain into a planter.
Drill holes in the basins of your fountain.
Cover the holes you drilled with mulch, pot shards, or landscape fabric.
Fill the basins with lightweight potting soil.
Plant drought-tolerant plants of different colors and textures. (In our example, succulents were used.)
Water your new planter regularly, but only when the soil is dry. Using a Drip Irrigation system like our Patio Watering Kit with dripper stakes will make sure that your new planter gets just the right amount of water to keep your plants healthy and still conserve water.
Enjoy the new addition to your garden. It is bound to turn some heads, or maybe start a conversation or two with the neighbors.
Take a look at the U.S. Drought Map below. It is easy to see that much of the country is currently experiencing some kind of drought condition. In certain areas the conditions are mild, and in some of them things are more extreme and unusual. The map above shows the parts of the country that are experiencing water shortages as of May 1st of this year.
If you find yourself in one of these areas, what can you do to compensate for the lack of water, while continuing to keep your plants, not only alive but healthy and thriving?
Below we have a simple list of things that will help any garden or landscape thrive in a less-than-adequate watering environment.
If you do all of these things, it will have an impact on your garden and landscape. It will also help when the rain is not falling quite as much as you need it too.
Most people who work in the landscape or gardening industry know about Drip Irrigation and Micro Irrigation. It's been used in some agricultural areas for over 40 years and is increasingly being used by larger and larger farms and groves for everything from grapes to oranges. This has proven to be a vast improvement on the goals of saving water and wise use of water by the industries that depend on it to survive.
In recent years, large landscape companies have also adopted Micro and Drip Irrigation as a way to water a variety of landscapes, keeping the plants well-nourished and saving 50% or more on water usage. Everywhere you look you can see it, little black stakes in the ground with Micro Sprays hidden behind bushes, Drip Irrigation tubing stretching through landscaped flower beds. With ever-increasing awareness of conservation of water, and the importance of being wise with resources, this trend will continue to improve as time goes on.
All of these things are incredible on their own, but they are just the beginning. Where Drip Irrigation is heading now is into the garden and landscape of the average homeowner. Most homeowners shy away from trying to mess with installing irrigation, for fear that it is too complicated or that they will not do it right and create a disaster that will kill all of their plants. But with droughts at a record high, and the desire of many to establish home gardens, that mentality is quickly changing.
The benefits of using Drip Irrigation and Micro Irrigation are tremendous. It's not just about not wasting water. The plants get what they need rather than too much water, which can lead to fungus growth and premature rot in the root systems. Also, many areas in the country that are under drought conditions will allow home owners to use low-flow irrigation products in their landscapes and gardens, rather than sprinklers.
Right now, homeowners across the country are realizing the need to use water wisely and are looking to install their own Micro and Drip Irrigation systems . We applaud that - and encourage others to do the same. A difference can be made, one garden and landscape at a time!
Below is a current drought map of the United States. As you can see there are a lot of areas where water is more scarce.
Drip Irrigaiton Is?
Many people have heard of Drip Irrigation, but not everyone knows what it means, where it came from, or how easy it is to implement into your landscapes and gardens. I wanted to write a quick bit about it and share how awesome this method of irrigation can be for your plants.
What is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, Basically, it means that you can control where the water goes - being extremely efficient, effective and environmentally cautious in your plant development.
Where did it come from?
Drip methods of watering plants where water was scarce have been around for centuries - from ancient times where clay pots were filled with water and allowed to seep into the soil to modern methods that involve poly and vinyl tubing and pressure compensated drippers for a specific flow rate for plants. The more modern version of drip was developed after World War II, and it was used in arid climates to grow crops. That method of drip irrigation is very similar to what is used today. With technology leading the way in water conservation, Drip Irrigation is improving constantly, allowing for more water saving and better irrigation of plants then ever. Electronic water timers and soil moisture sensors can be added to drip systems to make them extremely effective at using water with little or no waste, making Drip Irrigation the most environmentally friendly way to irrigate, outside of natural rain storms.
Installing Drip Irrigation?
When most people think of installing irrigation, pictures of long hot hours in the sun, digging ditches, laying pipes in the ground, and using tools to cut, manipulate and arrange them, come to mind. All of that is how underground irrigation is installed. Installing drip irrigation is actually really easy by comparison. For home garden and landscape use, many times all that is required is a faucet hook-up somewhere near where the irrigation is to be laid. This makes installation really fast and efficient for homeowners to set up. The most simple of Mister Landscaper's Drip Irrigation Kits is set up by attaching it to an outdoor faucet like a hose and running a line of poly to the location where the irrigation is needed. The only tool really needed is a pair of scissors, and maybe a small hammer if you have hard ground.
If a homeowner has underground irrigation, it is even easier to install Drip or Micro Irrigation. For instance, one can easily attach adapters to PVC pipes for existing irrigation and then run lines to the areas where they would like to have drip. Most set up of Drip or Micro Irrigation can take less then an hour to do and can save over 50% of the water used in traditional irrigation methods.
So, if you want to save time, save money, water your plants the best way possible, and most importantly save water for generations to come, Drip Irrigation and Micro Irrigation is the way to go.
Does Mister Landcaper have the best Drip Irrigation on the planet, Well, we think we do.
Have an awesome day!