10 ways to protect your trees from the drought
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Many folks have asked me to go over this for them:
1. Keep water below ground. Use a drip system and bury it at least 1 foot below ground.
2. Use Tree vents to get water even deeper and to provide nutrients and needed microbes to tree root systems. I use clay drain pipes, 4 inches wide by 2 feet long. These are buried four around the tree evenly spaced in between trunk and root line , around a circle apprx at 12 3 6 and 9 o clock. These get a grate that covers it, but you can place a rock or something else. Run the drip line so that you can place 2 gallon per hour drip head to the grate. This will allow the water to drip down thru the tree vents and water deep. Inside the tree vents you place a mixture of rock dust, compost and organic fertilizer for trees. The mixture will dissolve slowly into the surrounding area and the trees root systems will absorb.
3. Use rock around the trees from trunk out past drip line. Apply 2 times per year, spring and fall.
4. Use compost two times per year and or as needed.
5. Mulch the area to cover 1 or 2 inches. The less soil is exposed the better. I use azalea mix because it is acid mix and great for any soil that is basically clay.
6. Water less frequently but water longer. Better to water 1/2 hour per week then 5 min per day. You want roots going deeper looking for water.
7. Only apply organic fertilizers. Avoid using high nitrogen chemical fertilizers. They will only stress out the trees more and destroyed the natural balance of the soil.
8. Learn to use foliar spraying as a way to fertilize your trees. Compost tea makes an excellent foliar spray as does coffee.
9. Learn to catch what ever rain you get. Use small metal garbage cans, place a drain at bottom with a valve so that you an slowly let it flow into your tree vents over a long period if time. This could make the difference if your trees live or die. One garbage can can old 30 gallons of water which can help a tree for whole month if used right.
10. You should ask the city what rules and regulations it has about building cisterns to catch the rain. This recent rain, tho small amount, would still fill enough to last a home a month. One should learn how to use the home as a way to catch more rain and well as any other structures you may have. These can channels rain. Solar panels are good for this too as rain will roll off them into rain gutters. Each home should have at least 4 rain barrels if not more catching any rain. Each garden raised bed should have its own rain barrel which will be used to water that bed. A barrel can water a raised bed for a month if done right. You should also ask the city what rules and regulations it has about using grey water to water trees, lawns, flower beds as this is a great source of additional water that we are not using.
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