Tips for Turning on Your Sprinkler System with KTVN Channel 2

Spring Water System Check

Sprinkler systems all around the Truckee Meadows are coming out of hibernation following a long, cold winter. Local lawn services are scrambling to turn on sprinkler systems now that the weather has warmed up. Scott Leonard of Signature Landscapes says his crews are responding to calls from customers who are ready to start watering. “The weather changed from last week and freezing temperatures to near 80 degrees right now. It’s about getting water on as fast as we can,” said Leonard.


 

via Tips for Turning on Your Sprinkler System – KTVN Channel 2 – Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video –.

Weathering winter drought – watering required

Commercial & Residential Landscapes Affected by Winter Drought

In much of Northern Nevada, we’re experiencing a serious dry spell. Warm winters without snow appeal to people, but cause winter drought. Specifically, the lack of soil moisture and atmospheric humidity can damage plant root systems unless they receive supplemental water. Truckee Meadows residents are in for a shock if watering doesn’t take place in the next few days.

 
Washoe County Parks has issued an emergency watering rule for all turf areas. Take this as a warning… let’s get our landscapes watered this month!

KTVN Channel 2 Interview

Do you remember last year’s dry December and January?


Affected plants may appear normal and resume growth in the spring, only to weaken or die in late spring or early summer because the amount of new growth produced is greater than the weakened root system can support. Lawn grasses also are prone to winter damage. Newly established lawns, whether they are started with seed or sod, are especially susceptible to damage in dry weather. Pay particular attention to turf on south exposures.

If you have any questions or comments about how to ensure the survival of your landscape plants, shrubs and trees, give us a call at (775) 857-4333 and ask for Tim, our irrigation landscape specialist.

woodlandvillageTrees and shrubs at risk from dry winters include recent transplants, evergreens and shallow rooted species such as lindens, birches, and Norway and silver maples. Evergreen shrubs, particularly those growing near a house, may suffer root system damage during dry spells.

Water during winter only when air temp is above freezing.In the future, you should plan on watering plants when the leaves start to fall in the autumn. This will send them into winter with adequate soil moisture. For recent transplants, a soil needle or deep-root-feeder can be used on low water pressure for one minute at each site to water the root ball and surrounding soil.

Water during winter only when air temperature is above freezing. Apply water early in the day, so it will have time to soak in before nighttime freezing. If water stands around the base of a tree, it can freeze and damage the bark.

In most years, one or two winter waterings will be enough to keep plants from suffering winter damage.

Special thanks goes out to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Landscape for information on this article.

Drought parches West; 11 states declared disaster areas

Map of western US drought areas

Map of western US drought areas

(RGJ.COM) – Federal officials have designated portions of 11 western and central states as primary natural disaster areas because of a drought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement Wednesday includes counties in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that he sympathizes with farmers and ranchers who are dealing with the lack of rain and snow, and assured them that the USDA will stand by them.

The designation means eligible farmers can qualify for low-interest emergency loans from the Agriculture Department.

Counties adjacent to those that are affected also are eligible for assistance.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks drought, reports that while storms have dumped rain and snow in the East, droughts are persisting or intensifying in the West.

The worst states for drought are California, Oregon and Nevada, the monitor reported. More than 62% of the state of California is now in “extreme” drought, the state’s highest percentage since the Drought Monitor began in Jan. 2000.

Extreme drought is the second-worst category of drought.

The entire state of Oregon is now completely in a drought, while the state of Nevada is just under 97%.

The monitor added that mountain snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada range continued to dwindle, with snow water equivalent averaging between 10% and 30% of normal.

Contributing; Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Drought parches West; 11 states declared disaster areas

via Drought parches West; 11 states declared disaster areas | Reno Gazette-Journal | rgj.com.

Long-term Reno forecast: Below average precipitation, above average temperatures

The federal government’s long-term forecast indicates little relief could be at hand for worsening drought conditions across the Reno-Tahoe region.

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center is calling for the likelihood of below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures in February, March and April. The 90-day forecast was released today.

via Long-term Reno forecast: Below average precipitation, above average temperatures | Reno Gazette-Journal | rgj.com.

Drought prompts natural disaster declaration for Washoe County

Western Nevada Drought

Western Nevada Drought. RGJ.com map

Nine Nevada counties as primary natural disaster areas because of a drought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement Wednesday includes Washoe, Clark, Lyon, Nye, Churchill, Lander, Mineral, Pershing, and Humboldt counties.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that he sympathizes with farmers and ranchers who are dealing with the lack of rain and snow, and assured them that the USDA will stand by them.

The designation means eligible farmers can qualify for low-interest emergency loans from the agriculture department.

Counties adjacent to the nine in Nevada are also eligible for assistance. Those include Douglas, Esmeralda, Lincoln, White Pine, Elko, Eureka, Storey and Carson City.

It also includes Mohave County, Ariz., Owyhee County, Idaho, eight counties in California and three in Oregon.

Article excerpt from RGJ.com

 


Truckee River Flows at Risk for Summer

There are growing concerns we’re heading toward a major water shortage. We’re halfway through the month of January and parts of our region have only received 5% of the precipitation that usually falls in this month. December was also dry with a little over 20% of average rainfall.

Water experts say the Truckee is already at a reduced flow and it will get worse as our reservoirs dry up.

Truckee River Flows at Risk for Summer.

Get to the root of it – watering trees in winter

Watering your tree within entire root area

Watering your tree within entire root area. Click for larger image

These ecologists describe root activity as periodic, with maximum growth in early summer – especially in deciduous species – and pulses of additional growth occurring occasionally in early fall. And complicating things further, they indicate that not all roots grow at the same time. Even within a single tree, some roots may be active while others are not. However, by all accounts, tree roots in our region are thought to spend the winter in a condition of dormancy. This means they are not dead but rather they overwinter in a resting phase with essential life processes continuing at a minimal rate. Full-on root growth resumes in spring, shortly after soils become free of frost, usually sometime before bud break.

But unlike the aboveground parts of most trees that pass the winter in a prolonged dormancy – marked by unbroken inactivity until spring – tree roots seem to maintain a readiness to grow independent of the aboveground parts of the tree. That is, roots remain mostly inactive but can and do function and grow during winter months whenever soil temperatures are favorable, even if the air aboveground is brutally cold. While roots tend to freeze and die at soil temperatures below 20°F, minimum temperatures for root growth are thought to be between 32 and 41°F. So, if soil temperatures warm to or stay above this minimum, winter roots can break dormancy and become active.

Control and Prevention

The most effective way to reduce the possibility of root injury and disease is to keep the tree healthy and vigorous. A healthy root environment consists of adequate growing space for the root system, well-conditioned soil 16 inches to 24 inches deep, and sufficient water and oxygen. To check the water and soil condition of the root environment, dig a hole outside the dripline of the tree and determine if the soil is dry, wet or compacted. If you can’t get the shovel in the ground, the soil is dry. Soil moisture is adequate if the soil can be madeinto a ball with little pressure. Long, deep watering over the entire root system with time for the soil to dry between watering is better for trees than frequent light watering. Watering once a month during a long, dry winter also is helpful.

Avoid any practice that injures the roots. This includes: soil compaction, soil depth changes, mechanical injury, and improper watering and fertilization techniques. However, if these practices cannot be avoided, try to minimize damage.

Learn more about the health of your trees by calling a Signature ISA Arborist - (775) 857-4333 

To minimize soil compaction, remove compacted soil and replace it with noncompacted soil. Provide adequate drainage before planting. Use 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch (peat moss, wood chips, tree bark) around the base of a tree to improve soil aeration and water availability. Adding new mulch every three years or so will be needed as the mulch decays and improves the soil structure.

Avoid fertilization damage by applying nitrogen fertilizer to established trees immediately after spring leaf expansion, not in the late summer and fall.

 

 

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