How to water twice a month and be successful
I’m just like you: I don’t want to spend any money I don’t need to, and sure don’t want to waste any. Water has become a precious commodity in West Texas. Not only is it expensive, we’re told we can only use so much. There is a way to get much more out of the water and rain that goes on your landscape.
Having drought resistant plants is a good practice. These plants are deep rooted. If you Google grass varieties some will say they have roots as deep as 3 ft. However, the quality of the soil has more to do with the depth of rooting than the plant variety! If you can’t get a nail into the soil without a hammer (when it’s dry) then how are water, oxygen, and roots going to get down into it? Answer: they won’t! So let’s improve the tilth of the soil, that quality that allows it to crumble in your fingers when it’s wet or dry. Good top soil is alive with living organisms, so many that in an average yard they would weigh over 1,000 pounds. These are the guys that give the soil structure. Diminish their populations and the soil collapses into a brick!
Example: In new construction top soil is brought in from some pasture somewhere, spread, and hydromulched with Bermuda. The homeowner waters with San Angelo water and within weeks the yard looks like Ireland: emerald green! You can remember driving down residential areas and seeing these new lawns. After three years these lawns look like all the old ones. Why? I think it is because someone salted the pasture dirt. It was the homeowner! Week after week they applied San Angelo water with its mineral salts. Occasionally they would put a chemical fertilizer that is high in specific mineral salts. The salts build up in the soil to the point of diminishing the microbe populations and all the problems begin. Water runs off instead of soaking in. Grass becomes shallow rooted and weeds get the upper hand.
Soil was designed by The Maker to produce vegetation for ever! It really wasn’t designed to accept well, river, or lake water high in mineral salts. (I’ve been to Great Salt Lake and The Dead Sea) We have to water, so is there a solution?!?!
Bio-stimulants are the answer and the solution. These are anything that feeds the biology in the soil. Sugar, cornmeal, compost, beer, etc. are all bio-stimulants. The city of San Angelo takes our sewage sludge to a five acre concrete pad called the Kickapoo Composting Facility and moistens and turns it. Within a year it is sweet smelling soil! It is a great bio-stimulant. Some of you compost. One friend’s son’s job was to dispose of the eggshells after his mama made breakfast. The shortest route was over the side fence. After months his dad wondered why everything was growing so well on the other side of the fence! Eggshells are bio-stimulants!
Olive's OIL is the best, quickest, and least expensive way to improve your soil. A quart covers 5,000 sq ft and costs $15. (A gallon is $45) Apply it with a hose end sprayer once (to twice) a month. The first application will improve water perculation deeper into your soil. I formulated it 24 years ago, so it's proven to work!
So do what you can to improve the biology of the soil. When you water, water deep. Use mulch in beds and gardens. (In a 10 ft X 10 ft area 60 gallons of water can evaporate in one day. If you mulch, zero will evaporate! Consider harvesting rain water.) Pray for rain. And enjoy living every day in the meantime.