Water Conservation Department offers great landscaping tips

Mornings

The Water Conservation Department tells people that now is the time to do some landscaping as the temperature increases. Upcoming Water Smart Workshops will be held June 8 with a focus on watering during the heat of the summer, different types of irrigation and water saving strategies to beat the heat and help the vegetable garden flourish.

Go to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority for more information. Here are some tips from the Water Conservation Department.

How often to irrigate

The Albuquerque area continues to have a great rainy spring season with precipitation reaching 1-inch during the month of April. So far 450 million gallons of water have been conserved this year and the precipitation outlook is looking great and the conservation department hopes peoples landscapes are looking better.  

Remember to service the system regularly and follow these settings: For turf, follow the water by the numbers: two days per week in May. For other landscapes, follow the Watering Recommendations provided in 505outside.com. Remember no need to irrigate if it rains more than 1/2 inch.

What to do as far as landscaping

Service the irrigation system, a single broken sprinkler head flowing at 15gpm will waste 900 gallons of water in one hour if not serviced. Give organic mulch a try, experienced gardeners in New Mexico know that the key to success is in the soil. Soils in our climate are highly erosive and without care will blow away with spring winds or wash out during summer monsoons.

Covering bare soil with mulch is an essential gardening practice with benefits like reducing moisture loss through evaporation, suppressing weeds, and giving landscapes a finished appearance. When people use organic mulches (as opposed to a gravel type mulch), there are even more benefits, like keeping the soil cool, improving soil structure, and feeding the soil microbiology that supports plant health.

Organic mulch is derived from living matter. Examples of locally available organic mulches are wood mulch, bark mulch, pecan shell mulch, and straw. Because organic mulches were once alive, they contain essential nutrients, minerals, and energy that nourish the soil ecosystem as they decompose.

Plant of the month

The Dwarf Butterfly Bush is a magnet for its namesake garden visitors, including the majestic Monarch. Some gardeners consider these the absolute best plants for attracting butterflies, as many as 25 North American butterfly species.

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