Thirsty Trees and Shrubs
If you have not watered trees and shrubs this summer, it is time to give them a drink. We have had no measurable rainfall for well over a month. A deep watering which gets moisture a foot into the soil is in order. An inexpensive drip irrigation hose is a great tool for deep watering. Simply snake it around a tree or between a group of shrubs and let it run for several hours or overnight. With the slow application rate, there is no runoff even on the hardest clay soils. Check with a shovel to see how deep it has penetrated. Remember that most of the water absorbing roots are under the outer edge of the branches.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, it is time to reduce the amount of water applied. Even if we do not get much rain in September, the cooler temperatures and shorter days reduce plant and soil water loss. It is better to lengthen the interval between irrigations than to cut down on the number of minutes for each irrigation.