Managing the Garden During A Dry Spell

A Note From Rick Bogusch, Garden Director at Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton.

RB Irrigation has worked with us to help manage and maintain the irrigation system that is used at Bridge Gardens. When dry days stretch into a week or more, keeping the landscape hydrated becomes more challenging. Here are some tips from RB to help weather the dry spells this season and beyond:

New and existing planting beds do well with drip irrigation. It is the most efficient use of water and the most beneficial to our precious aquifer. Drip irrigation also helps keep structures dry when plants are nearby. Applying mulch to your planting beds will help retain the moisture in the soil.

Preparing new plantings with a big drink of water at the start will help ensure success. For small trees and shrubs, submerge the root ball in a large container of water to completely saturate it before planting in its new home. Then water with a hose to ensure the soil around the plant is well saturated. Irrigate every other day after that to allow the soil to dry out in between. Plants can die if they are overwatered as well!

Today's technology allows us to use irrigation timers to automatically water our landscape. This ensures consistent watering to support a healthy and beautiful landscape. There are "smart controllers" that are wifi connected for easy use with your phone, and some can communicate with local weather stations to make adjustments automatically to your system that help save water. Rain sensors provide another way to conserve water by turning your irrigation system off after a rain - and yes, they do work.

Like your car or any home mechanical system, it is best to hire a trained irrigation professional. A properly run irrigation system requires technical knowledge to ensure its operation, and to help our community conserve water. They can evaluate your needs in the spring, service the system throughout the season, and perform end-of-season draining and system shut off service to protect your irrigation investment during the cold winter months.