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Organic matter in the soil improves dramatically the capacity of the soil to hold and release water. Increasing a soil’s organic matter from 2 to 5 percent can quadruple its water holding capacity!

Visual effects of drought on plants:

First, foliage looks dull.

Next, wilting takes place.

Browning occurs progressively from the leaf tips.

Finally, flowering stops,

leaves fall,

the plant dies.

Plants require water, not only to maintain their structure, but also to supply themselves with nutrients. One way to provide water to your landscape is to store it in the soil. We experience a big surplus of water during the non-growing months of the year. This surplus is like a savings account that your plant can draw from during the growing season.

Organic matter in the soil improves dramatically the capacity of the soil to hold and release water. Particles of organic matter act like microscopic sponges. They help soak up and hold water in sandy soil, and help open pore spaces in clay soils to permit easier passage of water.

Adding organic material to your soil can be as simple as top dressing or mulching your beds yearly or as complex as reconditioning areas by incorporating organic materials into your soil. Something like “Cedar Grove” brand, which is a composted material, works well. Topping that with bark or wood chips acts as a cap and will help hold in the moisture. Check with your local arborist. Usually woodchips are plenty and available at no charge.

Respond with caution: Plants also demand that they do not get too much water. Water logged soil lacks adequate oxygen, thus drowning the plant. This environment is a perfect set-up for contagious landscape destroying root rot. Too small a response or too large a response and plants suffer.

Turf or weeds over the root zone of a tree or shrub forces the plant to compete for precious resources. Deciding to cut back on turf areas is always a wise one.

Watering amounts for optimal soils: For newly established trees and plantings-soak once a week to the depth of one foot. New plantings may require additional attention during drought conditions. The hairs of plant roots can be easily damaged and it takes time to develop new ones. Trees that have been in the ground between one and five years, water every two to three weeks during dry spells. Older trees need to be watered only every four weeks.

Irrigate in late afternoon or early morning. This is the time when the least amount of water will be lost to evaporation. One good soaking is better than several light waterings. Deep watering encourages deep roots. Water slowly and steadily. Use soaker hoses rather than an overhead sprinkler.

Sound Solutions offers services for those plants & trees most susceptible to drought:
1.) We can apply an anti-transpirant to the plants in your landscape. This is especially helpful for new plantings. A waxy coating that is applied to leaves, needles, or foliage surface relieves the plant from water stress to a certain extent.
2.) We also offer stress feeding, complete with natural organic bio-stimulants that help promote root growth and stress tolerance in plants.