Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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www.landscapeirrigation.com Landscape and Irrigation October 2017 23 all the plants from the bed at every season switch (in California: twice per year) and re-seed all at once. If we can't re-seed simultaneously, we tie in a micro-sprayer to moisten just one section of a raised bed if we're sprouting seeds later in the season. As soon as the seeds sprout, this line will need to be capped. Water preservation and drought processes As the California drought worsened in the earlier part of this decade, more clients asked us to replace sections of their lawns with low- water landscape or grapes and fruit trees. Their logic being that if they're using landscaping water, it may as well be for something they can eat. To that end, Farmscape experimented with different methods of irrigating home fruit trees. The advice other landscapers offered tended to favor establishing two bubblers on either side of the fruit tree. Another method was creating drip rings out of Netafim, giving the tree six to eight emitters, moistening all sides of the root ball. Over time, this became our preferred method, and created healthier fruit trees, with better production at lower water costs to our customers. Many homeowners ask us to plant around the basin of the fruit tree, or add in ground cover to potted fruit trees. From an irrigation standpoint, it's not so feasible since fruit trees need frequent deep watering when planted, tapering off to an infrequent (once or twice per month) deep watering. There's not a lot of ground cover that can accommodate that sort of watering schedule, as these types of plants (even low-water varieties) require weekly watering. The ground cover shows signs of under-watering quickly, and as landscapers move to correct it, the tree suffers from overwatering: specifically, too frequent shallow watering. This creates a prime environment for pest and disease issues to fester around the trunk. Additionally, these trees will have an immature root system, and, over time, it will respond with yellow leaves and branches, misshapen and subpar fruit and, eventually, an ugly death.

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