Morgan Hill Today 2014 03 Spring - Page 40

The Yin & Yang of your garden By Deborah Barncord Yin & Yang is used to describe how opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (instead of opposing) forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Your lawn and garden cannot exist without water. Water is essential to the life of our lawn and garden. With the current drought crisis, it is important to find the appropriate balance between the two: too little water, and your plants and lawn will dry out, too much and they will drown. In a worse case scenario, a world without plants would be nothing but concrete and artificial foliage. So finding a balance in the coming summer months is especially important since the drought will make it necessary for us to cut back on how much we water our yards; but the flip side is the loss of our coveted greenery. In a study by the EPA, they noted that trees and vegetation do much more than just reduce global warming. They also reduce the cost of energy, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emission and provide a degree of fire protection. They also enhance storm water management and water quality by filtering and erosion control. Bottom line: our plants improve our overall quality of life. By learning how to water your plants correctly, you can save our precious water resources as well as have a beautiful garden. Here are some ways you can support the yin and yang of your garden. WAYS TO SAVE WATER IN YOUR GARDEN: • Mulch your planting beds with 2-4” thick, using coarsely chopped wood products or bark is best (finely shredded bark like gorilla hair can be a fire hazard). Keep mulch 6-12” away from tree trunks to prevent rotting and disease. • Fescue lawn only needs water every 3-4 days in the spring and summer and can go months without water in the winter months – DON’T over water them. • DO YOUR WATER AUDIT! Go togarden-accents.net to see the video on how to do this easy audit. You should conduct a water audit every year to make sure you don’t have any damaged sprinklers and are not applying too much water. • Water your lawn and garden between 1-5am to reduce evaporation and take advantage of low winds. • Put in a subsurface irrigation system under your lawn. Yes they have improved immensely and we saved 60% of water last year! • Install a weather-based irrigation controller with a rain sensor. • TURN OFF your irrigation controller November 1 st , turn it back on when the rain ends. • Apply CAL-CM and or a Soil Surfactant to loosen your soil and make it more efficient with water. • Do not let the water run off onto the sidewalks. Break your watering into 2 smaller time amounts between the hours of 1-5am (you will know the amount of time once you conduct your water audit and check it to your local CIMIS station). • Put a shutoff valve onto your hose, don’t just let it run. • Install a grey-water system to use in your garden. Recycle water from your washing machine to your garden. We all want what is best for our planet, so let’s all take the time to do our part. Instead of just ripping out our plants and doing an expensive remodel make sure we are doing all we can do with what we have first. Brought to you by Garden Accents 11155 Lena Avenue 408.846.4555 garden-accents.net 40 M O R G A N H I L L T O D A Y S P R I N G 2 0 1 4 Sub-surface irrigation system installed at Garden Accents in January 2013 SOURCES: epa.gov/heatisland/mitigation/ trees.htm thelawninstitute.org/pages/ environment/water-quality-andquantity/water-is-a-valuableresource/