Let’s start by debunking a few myths. First, strange but true, the fact that rain is forecast does not mean you can count on it. If you have plants and trees to take care of, get ahead of it. Next, plants don’t only need water through the growing season; they also need moisture through fall, winter, and spring.
Dew? Inadequate, except for specialized desert plants, as the dew’s moisture is evaporated from the soil. Yellow grass? It’s not dead, it’s dormant; be patient, and it should revive when the weather is more clement for turf. Drowning your lawn during a dry period is just wrong. So, how to water? We like to water less often, but deeply.
Trees will thrive with a long, deep drink. Try leaving a hose dribbling at their base, moving the hose from tree to tree every 12 hours or so. Conifers (spruce, pine) need more water than you think, especially after this dry spring. They might look fine this summer, but next year the stress will show.
Containers benefit from deep watering twice a week, or more depending on size and plant choice. Sporadically throwing the ice from your cocktail in their direction won’t cut it. Water in the crown until the container leaks a bit; rain won’t penetrate enough (especially for things under roofs, right?). If the water just sluices through and out, rehydrate with frequent small amounts, or soak the whole container in a larger vessel until saturated.
Soil is like a sponge. If it’s damp, it can absorb a lot of water. A dry sponge, however, is hard to wet. Parched soil does not absorb water as it should. Irrigation? Absolutely. It is not a water-waster: a well-calibrated system will use much less water than occasional interventions, and plants will be happier. Xeriscaping or choosing things that are less thirsty is the smartest thing to do, but most of us have “normal”.
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Laura Scully52 Posts
Diplômée de l’Université de Guelph en horticulture, Laura Scully est cofondatrice et copropriétaire de Northland, entreprise tremblantoise d'aménagement paysager maintes fois primée. Elle partage son savoir horticole avec les lecteurs du Tremblant Express depuis 2009. / A University of Guelph graduate in horticulture, Laura Scully is the cofounder and co-owner of Northland, the Mont-Tremblant landscaping company that has won so many titles and awards. She has been sharing her knowhow with Tremblant Express readers since 2009. paysagistesnorthland.com