Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer is Here - Watering Tips

Summer is here! Pop up thunderstorms in the afternoon, well over 90 degree days, and vacation time (“Schools out for Summer” – Alice Cooper). If your kids are grown, maybe you are thinking, “Summertime and the Living is Easy” because if they are still around the house you are busy keeping them busy.

The pop up thunderstorms are very local in the Lowcountry. Just because you went through a lot of rain on the way home from work, do not be surprised if you got very little at home (or flip this scenario). This past week I was in a monsoon in West Ashley and hardly a drop of rain came down at my house.

With the very high temperatures, be sure your lawn, trees, and shrubs are getting enough water. If you have an irrigation system, invest in a rain sensor, so you are not wasting water and your money on water during a wet spell.

With the sporadic rain, a rain gauge is a good tool to have. We have a basic one that sells for less than five dollars. I have seen very fancy ones that are over one hundred dollars. With the Duck Dynasty craze going strong, you could probably get a camouflage coffee mug with an equal top and bottom circumference and place it in the middle of the yard away from overhanging tree limbs to collect water. If you go with the camo mug, be sure you do not hit it with the lawn mower.  

Using wetting agents (we hear of people saving 30% to 85% on their water bill by using wetting agents), topdressing with Cotton Burr Compost and using organic fertilizers will help you get more bang for your water bill buck.

If you have a well for watering, be sure to have it tested for salt. We (Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control) see many soil tests that come back high in sodium from people watering with a well that is salty. Sometimes these wells are inland, so it is not just a coastal situation. If you have a salty well, we have many tools to help you manage this situation.

Summertime uninvited guests include roaches, rodents, the nasty rascal the chinch bug, wasps, flies (many types), ants (fire ants and many others), mole crickets, aphids, white flies, lace bugs, various worms (not the good kind), fleas, mosquitoes, scale, borers, gray leaf spot …