Valley Gardening: Watering reminders

Life is good in the neighborhood! The weather continues to be nice—warm, dry, a little wind (sometimes a lot) and did I mention DRY? I do believe that even farmers are getting a little worried as we get into the last two weeks of March and no moisture predicted for the next couple of weeks.

As we get closer to spring, I am planning on redoing some of my drip irrigation systems in a couple of flowerbed areas. I would love to share my knowledge with anyone who wants to learn. I am by no means an expert, but I think I have a lot of common sense and will try and share that. Whether we are entering a drought or not, it is always important to treat water as if it is gold. Stop by and give me your name and number and I will give you a call when I plan on getting started.

Meanwhile….I have been refreshing my little pea-picking brain a bit, by re-reading the Service in Action Sheets from Colorado State University. As I give advice, sometimes I need to make sure I am right in my advice. Here goes----when you water your lawn you need to water deeply AND as infrequently as possible. This will help develop a deeper root structure that will get you through a drought period.  Healthier grass also helps to choke out the weeds.

Lawns cut at a 3” length will hold water longer than a lawn cut at a 2” height. At 3” you would cut off 1”.  Lawns need approximately 2.5” during the hottest times of the year. To figure out what your sprinklers are putting out, put some containers out on the lawn and time each zone. KNOW your watering habits, know your lawn. The best times to water are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

I fully understand that I have said the above before, but I am intentionally repeating because it is so important! I do not believe that pulling grass up and putting rock down is the answer to conserving water—it just isn’t. In my opinion, putting rock down is the lazy way to landscape—not always, but in many instances. You can go to the CSU website and read their info sheets if you don’t trust me.

I am hoping to finish cleaning up Mom’s Garden this weekend if the weather cooperates. I will then begin the process of starting the north side of this garden. I am promising to use as little water as I can, yet I plan on showcasing perennials and shrubs, and even trees that do well with limited water. It can be done!

As ornery as I am (not me, right), it is pretty rewarding to go into US Tractor & Harvest, a/k/a John Deere on Hwy 285 S. and ask Scott Van Horn if he could possibly disc up this area I am wanting to work on. I might run into Scott once a year at the 4H Fair, when he is buying 4H animals. He has never NOT helped me with projects. He didn’t hesitate even for a second before saying “just let us know when you need it done, Ruthie”! I am so grateful for the relationships I have created over the years. Thank you Scott for all you have done for me over the years. I think you have helped me in Mom’s Garden every time it was bulldozed!

What are you all doing Sunday afternoon? There is going to be a presentation “Healthier with Hemp” at the Valley Food Co-op, beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting for two hours. Monte Robertson, of SLV Hemp Company, will be holding an educational class on all things hemp! I had a chance to visit with Monte this week, as I am carrying some of his products at the Green Spot. He is just another example of a Valley farmer working extremely hard, for a number of years, to do something good! Only it’s not just good, it’s great! And for those of you who think hemp is marijuana—it isn’t! You won’t get ‘high’ at this class. You might start getting healthy, and that’s a good thing. Hope to see you there. And thanks to the Valley Food Co-op for sponsoring this class!

And thanks to the folks who keep coming in to the store to sign my informal petition for extended hours at the Rickey Recycling Center. Although summer hours are now in force, I am in it for the long haul—longer hours on Saturday and Sunday—all year.