With the recent, unfortunate canal break in Logan, many Cache Valley residents are wondering how they will keep their lawns and gardens alive. “Unless you have a well, your only source of water is probably culinary water,” said Taun Beddes, Utah State University Extension Cache County horticulture agent. “Culinary water can be quite expensive, depending on where you live in the valley, and it may not be wise to water with it as you would with secondary water. However, you can keep your lawn alive, but in a dormant state, with very little water.”According to USU Extension water conservation and turfgrass specialist, Kelly Kopp, lawns can survive on about one-half inch of water a month. With this small amount of water, the grass will remain brown, but it will keep the roots and crowns alive until more water is available.For most, culinary water will have to be applied with a hose-end sprinkler, said Beddes. To determine how much water the hose-end sprinkler emits, place several containers such as plastic water glasses or soup cans at various spots around the sprinkler. Allow the sprinkler to run for 15 minutes and determine how much water is in the cups. The amount of water in the containers can then be averaged. After finding the average, multiply it by four to obtain how many inches per hour the sprinkler puts out. Special water cups are available for checkout from the Cache County Extension Office at 435-752-6263.”As for irrigating the garden, culinary water will need to be used for this, also,” said Beddes. “However, using a hose-end sprinkler, in most situations, is very wasteful in the garden. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to irrigate in the garden by hand, using a hose or watering can. Garden plants should be watered deeply one-to-three times per week, depending on the plant. Additionally, applying mulch around the plants greatly reduces the amount of water that needs to be applied.”It may take a little extra work, but you can keep your plants alive, he concluded. Use caution and your lawn will stay alive and your garden will thrive.
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