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Thursday, September 10, 2015

"getting plants wet" is what it boils down to

The proper method of watering is frequently overthought. The purpose is just to get plants wet.  It's that simple.

 Drip irrigation works in one situation – row crops where there are emitters at the bases of plants. Even there the system isn’t perfect. You can’t see where the water is going and the maintenance is high. It’s impossible to avoid dry spots and supersaturated spots. Rodents love to eat holes in the tapes and tubes.  In landscape, especially in groundcover beds, drip is a poor choice at best, and a disaster in most cases. 

 Spray systems are usually better. You can see where the water is going and there is better coverage. Plants like to be watered from above – like when it rains. Don’t accept the claim that moisture on the foliage leads to disease issues. That’s just not the case . Drip systems might save a little water, but if the plants die, what have you gained? 

Several cities are now dictating the use of drip irrigation. These policies should be changed. An alternate policy of requiring organic landscape management would save a great deal of water. It would also reduce air, soil and water pollution. Landscape projects would also look better, be healthier and be easier to maintain.

 
 
OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.
 


Monday, September 7, 2015

Are there Bluebirds in north Texas???


 
Eastern Bluebirds
Bluebirds are here in north Texas all year long. They’re shy and prefer open meadows, which are disappearing fast. That’s why we don’t see them much. But they’re here. The bluebird population (the “Eastern Bluebird” – the one here in north Texas) declined about 90% between 1900 and the early 70s. Now there is a slight resurgence thanks to humans feeding and putting out appropriate housing.





8 million tons of trees are cut down yearly  …just to make catalogs. Birds lived and raised nestlings in now-cut-down trees. But now there’s a free service to help you decide what goes into your mailbox. You click on www.CatalogChoice.org  to check it out. Catalog Choice is endorsed by the Nat’l Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Defense Council. Not only can it stop mass-mailed junk catalogs, but lets you stop “special interest” catalogs that may or may not be of interest to you.

 

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.