Even though it seems like each rain provides such a good soaking, in reality, it takes many months of cool, moist weather to deeply re-hydrate the soil. Here are three things you can do to help your trees this fall.
You can provide great hydration by diverting rain gutter run-off. Rainwater flows from your roof into your gutters and can be channeled by gravity to where it can be used in your landscape. The distribution system can be very simple. Gently sloped sidewalks, hillsides, ditches, and channels provide a perfect situation for moving water.
Rain barrels or rain gardens are a great way to capture and harvest that much needed hydration too. You can purchase systems specifically made for water harvesting, though any container that stores water draining from your roof will work. Most hold 50 to 80 gallons.
Another simple hydration measure is to assess how much good organic mulch or compost is present around your trees. If you are down to bare soil or a thin layer of mulch, now is the time to add another fresh layer of mulch. Compost added as mulch will help moderate soil temperature. And the worms, grubs and other bugs that help decompose the mulch, will provide beneficial organisms to the soil and tree roots.
People often ask me if they can harvest enough water to provide sufficient irrigation for an entire landscape. The answer, of course, is that it depends. Storage capacity, number of trees, soil types, and the weather all play a role. However, even the simplest systems provide great benefits. Any amount of rainfall harvesting combined with fresh mulch results in water usage savings for you and your trees will appreciate it too.
If you have questions about how you might implement these ideas, let’s chat!