June News from the Staff
News from the Staff v. 3
Don’t be fooled by this wet spring we’ve experienced; California has a Mediterranean climate known for hot, dry summers. As good stewards of our state, we need to conserve water and a great place to start is outdoors.
Did you know that half of the water we use at home goes into our landscapes? Based on urban water testing done at UC Davis and UC Riverside, both water and chemicals/fertilizers are over-applied by home gardeners and the excess contaminates soil or is flushed into the state's waterways.
Where’s a gardener to start? Watering home landscape plants properly is one of the most misunderstood problems facing the average gardener. You need to know more than your soil type and root zone depth; it also helps to know how much water your plants need.
Researchers at UC Davis have been working for a number of years to evaluate plants and the amount of water they require in the landscape. In this trial, researchers select plants considered low water and establish them in research fields. After establishment, the plants get assigned to different levels of irrigation. This is called a ‘deficit irrigation trial.'
Irrigation treatments range from high to extremely low and plant performance is evaluated to determine the appropriate amount of water for a particular plant to thrive. Check out more information about the irrigation trails at UC Davis in our newsletter Project Spotlight.
Research like this is informing both industry professionals and backyard gardeners about how much water their plants require. Watering to the specific needs of our plants can save us from wasting our money and sending one of our most precious resources, water, down the drain.
Happy gardening to you all!