Watering Gardens In The High Desert

By Mary H. Dyer | March 2, 2021
by Mary H. Dyer
March 2, 2021

I’m married to my irrigation system. My husband, Tom, waters our large, struggling lawn and prairie grass with a Rain-Bird type pulsating sprinkler. It works well, is adjustable, and waters a fairly large area. Water is precious here, so we try to be careful.

In the front of the house, he uses an inexpensive plastic sprinkler to irrigate a small, square-shaped patch. This area is shaded by a large tree, (the only shady spot in the entire place), so it only needs watering a few times during the summer.

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It’s my job to do the “detail work.” I water my annuals in containers and hanging baskets with a hose, sometimes using a wand-type attachment. During the heat of summer, this is a twice-a-day job. On cooler days, I give the hanging plants a drink with a watering can and call it good. I also use a watering can to feed them a water-soluble fertilizer, which I don’t do nearly as often as I should.

We have a lot of evergreens, and we let a hose drip at the base of each one a few times during the summer, along with a final deep watering in autumn. 

Lastly, we have a motion-activated sprinkler. It really doesn’t irrigate anything, but we use it to keep deer out of a small area that I reserve for annuals that aren’t deer-resistant. It blasts out a quick, powerful spurt that discourages deer. 

My dog has tested out the motion-activated sprinkler a few times, which is always great entertainment. I’ve been blasted once and I didn’t appreciate the humor, although my “irrigation system” got a good laugh that morning.

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