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GLT's Grow: Watering ... And Not Watering

Sprinkler on lawn.
Robert Couse-Baker
Flickr via Creative Commons
Oh, that tempting spray...great for frolicing on a hot day...not so much for deep watering.

Water, water, everywhere. But are you getting the most out of it for your plants?

  • The right kind of sprinkler can help you have a lush and healthy landscape.
  • The ever-popular fan sprinkler brings back childhood memories of dashing through the gently spray. And that's really what this type of sprinkler is best for. Use the fan sprinkler and congratulations, you've humidified the air. Too much of the water evaporates before it hits where it needs to be—namely, the roots.
  • Rotating sprinklers with two or more arms can be a good choice—if you keep the water pressure low and close to the ground. 
  • Traveling sprinklers look like miniature tractors that move across your yard as they dispense water. These must follow a preset pattern and are limiting as a result.
  • Don't water on a windy day. As much as 50 percent of that water will get blown away.
  • So why not just skip all the fuss of water and consider xeriscaping?
  • By using plants that need little to no water, you solve your sprinkler dilemma. 
  • Some native grasses, like buffalo grass, do well in this situation. Sculpt around the grass with various types of hardscaping or mulch to keep water needs to a minimum.

GLT's Grow is your source for sage gardening advice and down-to-earth tips. Host Patrick Murphy and co-host Laura Kennedy are ready to take on all your gardening questions, so submit yours today.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.