Friday, May 14, 2010

Watering a Long Dry Garden Strip

A broken oscillating sprinkler, which I often find while dumpster diving, is THE perfect way to give a chronically dry long narrow area a DEEP cost effective soaking. Many people buy pricey soaker hoses only to discover that the soil never gets a DEEP soaking to draw the roots DOWN and away from the hot dry surface. Just be sure the control arm that makes the oscillator go back and forth is disconnected from the sprocket so that the water tube is loose and floppy. Turn on the water to make pressurize the tube so it stays in one play, and aim it UP so that the water comes back down like rain all along a long narrow band of garden hugging a sidewalk or driveway. Turn the pressure up or down to get the width needed. Let it run for about 15 minutes to soak the soil deeply, then mulch the area to trap that moisture. Future waterings will readily penetrate the mulch. I devised this technique in Denver to deal with those hot dry LOW humidity summers to keep the mulched beds between the curb and my sidewalk ( the "hell strip" is what folks call those areas) damp for my roses and perennials. Three to four times a month did the trick. John

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