Water Robbers

Even with drought conditions some volunteer seedling seem to do ok. Pull up by the roots if possible these plants as a way to keep as much water in the soil available to the plants you want to keep.

Even with drought conditions some volunteer seedlings seem to do okay. Pull these plants up by the roots if possible, as a way to keep as much water in the soil available to the plants you want to keep.

We are so dry anything we can do now to keep from losing more moisture from the soil is a good thing. Weeds, seedlings of unwanted plants, and suckers on good plants are all water robbers and need to be removed. While they may not take much water, if you can get these out by the roots it will help some, and you are grooming your garden at the same time. Leaf drop is another thing to consider to preserve moisture now. Even if you are watering I think delaying getting up leaves is not a bad thing now. They are giving an extra layer of mulch to your beds now. The one exception for me is turf. While I have dramatically reduced water on my lawn, I still like to at least keep the leaves out of the lawns because they tend to be both your problem and your neighbors, too.
While the best way to water is drip irrigation, most of us do not have these systems. So if you do not, and need to water a certain plant, turn your hose into a drip system by turning it on just enough to drip and place it under the plant that needs water for several hours. This way you will use very little water, and what you do use is very effective. Let’s just hope significant rain comes soon.

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John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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