How to prepare your lawn, trees and landscaping for dry weather

How to prepare your lawn, trees and landscaping for dry weather

It’s going to be a dry summer.  Learn how to prepare your lawn, trees, landscaping and more for best results. 

Idaho is going to experience another dry summer due to low snowpack in the mountains, and that means that we are likely going to be experiencing water shortages and a shortened irrigation season as well. 

Especially in the Treasure Valley! 

Facing brown lawns, wilting flowers, thirsty shrubs and other green things isn’t the most cheerful way to start (or end) your summer, so what can you do NOW to help reduce your garden, yard and tree’s need for water? 

 

The Impact that Shortened Irrigation Season and Drought has on your landscaping. 

 

We all love a lush, green lawn, perky flowers, full shrubs, and flourishing trees, but when we have the kind of winter that we just had in Idaho, a lack of snowpack can really burn up our summer hopes and dreams. 

If you didn’t already know, the Treasure Valley is considered a high desert. That means that almost all of the green you see, aside from the trees that line the Boise River are here courtesy of water management, storage and delivery systems dating back to the great age of reclamation; the 1930’s! 

In order to water our gardens, greenhouses, lawns, flower beds (and that’s right, grow food and livestock!) we have to either store it in reservoirs and distribute it via canals and viaducts, or we have to pump it out of the ground. 

Being as we are in a desert, there is only so much water to go around, and when we experience a low-precipitation winter, that runoff is in high demand and low supply. 

Since we can’t control the weather, what can we control in our outdoor ecosystem to help prepare it for a dry, hot summer, and become more resilient long term? 

 

Choosing the right plants for our Idaho high desert environment. 

 

Since the best way to reduce your water consumption is to simply require less of it in the first place, why don’t we start by helping you select some drought resistant plants for your spring planting? 

There are many beautiful, prodigious and wonderful ways to “plant this, not that” when it comes to reducing your water needs, but here’s just a short list. 

If you are planning on planting some trees this year, here are a few that will need less water as well. 

-Pine Trees

-Juniper Trees

-Coffetrees 

-Western Catalpa 

-Mountain Ash

-Oak Trees

-Crabapple 

 

And when it comes to your lawn and landscaping? 

-Evening primrose

-Smoketree

-Adam’s Needle 

-Fragrant Sumac 

 

Grass

-Tall Fescue 

 

And how to keep your grass (and everything else!) greener on your side of the fence…

 

While planning ahead is a wonderful idea, and can reduce your stress and water usage in the years to come, what do you do about the trees, flowers, shrubs and grass you already have growing?

Yards, and many other types of plants get lazy when they are watered in a manner that makes them think that there’s never going to be a shortage. What does this mean? When you water your lawn frequently, for short periods of time you are teaching its root system to be shallow. If you think about it, it makes sense, because this is where the water is! 

When the heat rises, or when water is scarce, these shallow roots won’t be able to reach down deep into the soil where there may still be moisture. So in order to get your roots in shape for a hot, dry summer and a potentially shorter irrigation season, start teaching your lawn to go deep now. 

This is really just as simple as it sounds; turn your sprinklers on less frequently, but for longer periods of time. This will teach your lawn to reach down deep for water, and prepare them for drought conditions. 

Consider evaporation and wind as well. Turning on your sprinklers at night, or at least when the sun isn’t at full tilt will help conserve water. This will reduce the amount of water that’s simply being sucked off of your lawn and back into the atmosphere. 

Another great way you can reduce your water usage is by reconfiguring your sprinkler system to reduce the amount of water that is being sprayed into the air, onto your home, patios and sidewalks. Adjust them, install different heads or nozzles, and also consider where a drip system might make more sense!

The trees, shrubs and bushes in your yard will also benefit from your less frequent but longer sprinkling cycles, but proper mulching can help them as well! 

As for your perennial flowers, they will also benefit from longer and less frequent watering sessions, but there’s more you can do to help weather a water shortage! Weed frequently to lessen competition for water, and think twice before fertilizing! 

As you can see, there are lots of very easy and effective ways to help get all of your favorite green spaces and things ready to ride out this Idaho summer, but there’s more! 

Come visit us to learn more about what flowers, trees, shrubs, and more you incorporate into your backyard or property this spring, and how to keep them green and flourishing regardless of the weather! 

 

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