Master Gardeners Share Tips on Low-Water Planting

You don’t have to sacrifice your home landscaping needs for the summer. Learn tips about gardening for drought conditions.

shrubsandstones_webCome to the xeriscaping (or xerogardening) event July 18 at 7 pm at the Shawnee County Extension office, 1740 SW Western Ave. Xeriscaping refers to landscaping and gardening in ways to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation.

The library’s partners, the Shawnee County Extension Master Gardeners, will be giving us free professional advice on how to grow a garden while conserving water. They’ll help you choose appropriate plants to maintain a beautiful garden in dry conditions.

One idea that you may find helpful is incorporate more flowering shrubs in your garden. These plants also go on sale at the end of the season, and are fairly low maintenance.

Also, many native plant are drought resistant. These plants only need to be watered until they are “established.” After that, they are hardy as long as their basic soil and sun.

Make an appointment a librarian to discuss your gardening needs. We’d be happy to connect you to the perfect Lawn and Garden books, DVDs and magazines to turn your backyard from “oh-boy” to “oh-yeah!”


Perennials such as the peonies above can add to a garden without requiring much work.

The Master Gardeners and the library partner to offer interesting gardening and nature programs monthly. Check out the latest edition of Library News, mailed to library card households in Shawnee County, for upcoming events.

Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.

4 thoughts on “Master Gardeners Share Tips on Low-Water Planting

  1. Master gardeners say the best time to thin or transplant peonies is in September.

    To divide, loosen dirt clumps making sure to have 3 – 5 eyes/buds per transplant.

    In addition, be sure to plant the transplants only as deep as the original plant, otherwise they will not bloom.

  2. We moved to our present house 4 years ago and have planted 20 plus trees. We done a few each year. Most trees were in 3-5 gallon containers and 5′ tall. Some were dry root about 1′ tall. The trees planted last year and this year I water every 3 -4 days depending rain fall with 5 gallon plastic buckets with a 1/8″ hole in the bottom.

    My question is this enough water or should I increase or do it less frequently? I think the dry root trees should be done more frequently then the others. Most trees are oaks and the dry root trees, 1 is a peach, a ginko and the other an oak.
    Thanks your for response

  3. Here is some information that may help with your watering question, Master gardeners recommend using .edu websites for accurate information on gardening.

    Watering Newly Planted Trees

    By Dr. James Klett, Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University
    If trees are to survive, the gardener needs to understand the basics of watering. Incorrect watering can cause more harm than good.
    Overwatering, very common with newly transplanted trees, forces oxygen out of the soil around the roots and can lead to death of a tree. A good indication of too much water is yellowing of the foliage that develops first on the inside leaves and progresses to outer leaves.
    This leads to the question–when and to what extent should I water? It is important to determine moisture levels of the soil in the root zone. Most roots in Colorado’s claylike soils are 6 to 10 inches below the soil surface. It is easy to determine soil moisture by carefully digging down 6 to 10 inches. If soils feels powdery or it crumbles, it is time to water. If it clings together when squeezed, it contains adequate moisture.
    To water a newly transplanted tree, you might want to use a soil needle or root feeder attachment to a garden hose. This allows some water movement directly to the root zone. Insert the soil needle in a zigzag pattern around the root ball of the transplanted tree. This ensures that all new feeder roots outside the original root ball receive adequate water.
    Water newly transplanted trees thoroughly to late August, than gradually cut back on water to allow for “hardening off” before cold weather sets in. After the leaves have dropped off, continue watering if natural moisture is inadequate.
    To help reduce moisture loss, mulch around newly transplanted trees. These watering techniques will help maintain a high survival percentage to your newly transplanted trees.

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