By Clifton Smith, Conservation Garden Park
As the new year approaches, you may be considering resolutions that will make 2017 a great year. While exercise, the wiser use of money, and eating habits may be high on the list, consider some resolutions that will improve your landscape and you won’t even have to act on them until spring!
The following three resolutions will help you improve the look of your yard, improve plant health, reduce maintenance needs, and save water.
Resolution #1: Flip your strip
Lawn loves to grow in areas that stay somewhat cool and have adequate water on a regular basis. Park strips, those narrow strips of landscape between the street and your yard, have the opposite qualities that lawn prefers. Arguably the hottest part of the landscape, park strips are also difficult to water effectively.
Replacing the lawn in your park strip with plants that area adapted to live and thrive in hot, dry areas will not only help your yard look better, it will also reduce the resources needed to keep it looking great. To get started, attend a “Creating a Waterwise Park Strip” class at Conservation Garden Park. They will be held each month starting in February.
Resolution #2: Switch to drip
Sprinklers are designed to spray water into the air to mimic rainfall. In some cases, sprinklers can be a great choice, especially for low-growing, uniformly planted areas like lawn or a creeping groundcover. Sprinklers are also most uniform when they spray areas larger than eight feet in width.
Retrofitting a sprinkler system to a drip system makes sense in plantings with variable heights, where overspray is undesirable, and in narrow areas like park strips.
Switching can be simpler than you may think. Drip retrofit kits are easy to obtain from any sprinkler supply store. The kit usually fits in the place of a sprinkler head and have a filter and pressure regulator built in. Add the drip tubing on to the drip retrofit and you’re there.
Okay, it may not be quite that simple, but you can find out more by visiting a sprinkler supply store or attending Localscapes classes at Conservation Garden Park.
Resolution #3: Change the way you water
The biggest impact you can have on your yard is also the easiest. The weather is constantly changing and it can be difficult to keep up with your yard’s water demands. Many solve the problem by overwatering everything to avoid underwatering when it gets hot and dry. There are simple tools out there that can help you water just the right amount.
Smart sprinkler controllers can be programmed to automatically adjust your sprinkler timing based on actual weather or soil conditions. Websites like SlowtheFlow.org can provide up-to-date watering guides based on Utah’s climate.
Resolution #4: Visit Conservation Garden Park
Conservation Garden Park is dedicated to teaching homeowners how to take better care of their landscapes while decreasing the time, money and water required to do it. Come and walk around to get inspired, or attend a class for detailed landscape help. Find out more at www.ConservationGardenPark.org.