Amos Arber of the Albuquerque Water Authority reminded us in his Gardening Seminar that a mature shade tree needs 300 gallons of water a week during the hottest part of the year, and WE NEED THOSE TREES in our urban forest. As Albuquerque reduced its per capita water use by 50% over the past twenty years, a lot of lawns were replaced with xeriscaping, and a lot of trees suffered because the sprinklers on that grass were their primary water source. We highly recommend you spend some time on 505outside.com to learn more about watering and the treebates available from Albuquerque Water Authority.
We're going to expand on this topic at the bottom of this article so your eyes won't glaze over before you get to the more exciting stuff. We're going to do math.
The More Exciting Stuff
While most local plant retailers have reduced or stopped adding new stock, Jericho is keeping the pedal to the metal. We have such a long growing season that you have months to enjoy the color of annuals, and plenty of time to bring a bountiful harvest of vegetables. Trees and shrubs add greenery and color you can enjoy immediately; just water, water, water during the hottest months. Here's a list of what we received in stock this week:
Althea, in bloom
Bamboo, 10’ tall in 5gal and 10gal pots
Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris)
Crape Myrtle, in bloom
Emerald Arborvitae, a tall tight windscreen when planted in multiples
European Mountain Ash
Lavender, in bloom
Perennials, including Monrovia quality
Purple Fountain Grass, nicest of the year
AND LOTS + MORE, LOADS OF BLOOMING!
If you need some inspiration...
Hang on to your receipt!
A lot of us only save receipts for tax deductions, but our cashier's will be reminding you to do so as you take your plants to your vehicle. Please don't be offended if one of our Gardening Angels asks to see it. We've upgraded our security protocols. Smile.
How much emitter tubing do you need to give a mature shade tree 300 gallons of water in a week? The simple math is close enough: multiply the diameter of the drip line of the tree by three. For example, a tree with a 20 foot diameter drip line needs 60 feet of emitter tubing. Just like in high school, a good science class also has a lab, so here’s the lab session.
This tubing actually has emitters molded in during the manufacturing process. Don’t worry about what the emitter is “rated”, do your own test. After everything is hooked up, turn on your system and catch the water from one emitter in a measuring cup. Note how many minutes it took to fill the cup. There are 16 cups in a gallon, so multiply that figure by 16 and you’ll know how long it takes for one emitter to drip a gallon. In our experiment, it took 8 minutes to fill a cup, so it would take 16x8 or 128 minutes to drip a gallon, so we are actually getting half a gallon per hour per emitter. With 60 emitters (they are 1 foot apart), that’s 30 gallons per hour. In this example, providing 300 gallons a week to this tree means setting the timer to deliver to that circuit for ten hours a week. Have your eyes glazed over yet? Or are you looking for a measuring cup RIGHT NOW?
Many complex multi-zone sprinkler systems just can't keep up with such demand, however. Just do the best you can do with what you have. Tubing like this is available from local irrigation supply stores, like Ewing (5701 Wilshire Avenue) and Just Sprinklers.
We have a LOT on sale this week - be sure to check out our Specials Page.
As always, we value your business and hope this article brought some value to YOU.
Richard, Jennifer,and Your Gardening Angels