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Conserving Water in Your Garden

September 27, 2011

What a summer! Bring on the cooler, wetter fall weather! Fall growing conditions are ideal for planting shrubs, trees and vegetables. If you are one of those unfortunate gardeners who have experienced drought this year, I have some tips to help you out.

Build Great Soil: your soil before planting to improve growth and moisture retention by mixing in a several inches of Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Garden Soil (not Potting Mix), which contains a pre-mixed blend of rich organic materials, specially formulated to increase the water holding ability of soil. Even if you added organic matter to your soil in spring, you will get improved results if you do this every time you plant.

Feed to Build Strong Roots: Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed combines watering with gentle feeding for all your flowers, vegetables, perennials and shrubs. It’s the convenient way to nourish all plants with both water and nutrients during dry conditions. For continuous feeding for up to three months, try Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed plus Moisture Control. It helps save water by allowing moisture to penetrate the soil.

Water Wisely: If your rain gauge is collecting an inch of water a week from rainfall, you can skip watering. When additional watering is necessary, do so in the morning. Watering from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. is best, due to less wind and cooler temperatures. When watering, remember to water deeply making sure the soil is moist by inserting a finger a few inches into the soil. If you do not already have one, consider installing a drip irrigation system to keep plants from drying out.

Mulch Everything: Whether your garden is in the ground or in containers, apply a two to three inch layer of Scotts Nature Scapes Advance mulch around all shrubs, perennials, and flowers. This holds more moisture in the soil longer, keeps water-stealing weeds away by blocking sunlight and directs water down towards the soil, allowing it to absorb water better. For vegetable gardens, I like to mulch with old straw.

Weed Control: Weeds compete with other plants for water. If you are unable to pull the weeds out root and all, you can carefully spray Roundup Weed Grass Killer Sure Shot foam. The foam helps to keep the spray from getting on plants you do not want to kill.

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