Garden Planner: By Mary James
WITH SUMMER ON THE HORIZON, use this irrigation checklist to be sure every drop of precious — and expensive — water is used wisely.
Run the system — drip or sprayer — and check for leaks and sprayer or emitter malfunctions, as well as over- or under-watering.
Increase watering times in tandem with rising temps and day lengths.
If necessary, replace old equipment with new smart timers; check with your water provider for possible rebates on this and other equipment.
Bookmark a website like “Be Water Wise” and check plant evapotranspiration rates daily to fine tune watering schedules.
AND DON’T FORGET TO…
Plant annual herbs including basil, cilantro, parsley and dill, either from seeds or nursery seedlings.
Add heat-loving veggies to the garden, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons and cucumbers.
Mulch vegetable gardens with straw (not hay) to help hold in the moisture these fast-growers need.
As the weather warms, set lawn mower blades to 2 to 3 inches high for tall fescue and other warm-season grasses.
Water in the cool of morning or evening, rather than the heat of the day.
Knock aphids off roses with a strong spray of water.
Deadhead and feed roses to encourage a second bloom.
Set out ant traps to reduce colonies and prevent home invasions.
Plant seeds and seedlings for summer-blooming annuals, including sunflowers, so they can become established before the weather gets too hot.