There's something satisfying about watering — so satisfying that overwatering is among the most widely practiced of gardening mistakes. Not only does overwatering waste water that could be used for better things, but it also kills plants or makes them grow too fast so that they become soft and vulnerable to problems. Overwatering costs you a lot of money, too!
If you have a manual watering system (or if you water by standing at the business end of a hose), be sure to use a soil probe or put a shovel into the soil to check moisture levels before you water. Don't depend on the surface appearance of the soil; conditions may be quite different down where the roots live. If the soil is dry 6 to 12 inches below ground, consider watering — depending, of course, on the root depth of the plants in the area.
If you have an automatic controller (see Chapter 7 for details), be sure to reprogram it periodically to account for seasonal changes in water use. The heat of the summer increases water demand, but then many people forget to turn the controller back down in the fall. Refer to the water management information in Chapter 9 or talk to your local water purveyor for specific programming suggestions. Better yet, invest in one of the new smart controllers; these devices automatically adjust to ever-changing conditions.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.