Cultivating Beauty: Watering Wisdom
Posted June 27th, 2012 | by The Update
The best watering wisdom is to water deeply and infrequently. However, unless you have been doing that all along, now is not the time to water infrequently. But now is the time to begin watering deeply. The best way to do that within the limitations of a sprinkler system is to follow these steps:
A. Run sprinkler for 10-15 mins for a full cycle if you have full sun, 5-10 mins if you have shade.
B. Then immediately set the system to go another round for 20-25 mins for sun, 10-12 mins for shade.
To be clear, you are running 2 consecutive full cycles of watering back to back. The first round softens the ground and allows some water to penetrate about an inch or so. If you try to just run the sprinkler longer once, it will just run off because the ground has not had time to absorb it and soften. The second round allows the water to go deeper as the moist soil acts as a conduit for the water to get deep into the ground. The goal is to train the roots to go deep to find water. Frequent watering with shorter durations train roots to stay shallow which causes all kinds of problems. Do this once every two weeks while we are having this weather. Leave the rest of your watering days the same.
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