Posts Tagged: water
I hope all of you and your loved ones are staying well and healthy as the pandemic continues. Involving yourself in outdoor activities is not only a great way to escape 'cabin fever' and improve your physical health but it is also good for you psychologically, as well.
A silver lining for me over the past few months has been the opportunity to summarize results of some research studies including an update from a mulch trial that I'll report on virtually rather than live at the American Society for Horticultural Science conference (that was to be held in Orlando). I thought you might be interested in the results.
The objective of the research project was to measure the impacts of organic mulch treatments on the growth and health of four species of low maintenance, drought-tolerant landscape trees under deficit irrigation. Species selected were Parkinsonia x ‘Desert Museum' (it's thornless!); Chilopsis linearis ‘Bubba' (Desert Willow) (beautiful magenta flowers!), Pistacia ‘Red Push' (hybrid from P. atlantica and P. integerrima with brilliant orange fall foliage), and Prosopis glandulosa ‘Maverick' (thornless). Trees were planted in a randomized complete block experimental design in at the Chino Basin Water Conservation District (CBWCD) in Montclair in October, 2016. Half of the trees received 4” of organic mulch and half did not. Trees were transplanted from 15-gallon containers and irrigated with recycled water at 80 percent of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) the first 12 months.
Irrigation was reduced to 50% ETo in November, 2017 which was maintained until May 2020, when irrigation ceased. While the study continues through October 2020, there are some interesting early results. Organic mulch applications enhanced growth with no loss in quality in the Pistacia, Prosopis glandulosa, and Chilopsis linearis trees while growth was actually better in the Parkinsonia trees that did not receive mulch. This may be due to the fact that its trunk and branches actively photosynthesize as well as its leaves. Parkinsonia leaves also feature sunken guard cells, providing another form of drought avoidance. Furthermore, they develop deep root systems and may not need the added benefit of reduced soil evaporation in the top few inches of soil provided by the mulch. While all of the species selected have wonderful attributes, the Parkinsonia 'Desert Museum' has all the best traits of its palo verde heritage including having no thorns and a continues bloom throughout summer.
A huge thanks to our UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener team (led by Irene) who take data quarterly on the trees, recording trunk circumference at 6" and 3'. This is another great example of the breadth and depth of the contributions of our wonderful volunteers!
The four species of landscape trees in this study are part of a larger study at University of California, Riverside to determine the ability of 12 species of landscape trees to mitigate impacts of climate change. While I'll be long retired, growth and health data of all species will continue to be evaluated through at least 2035. The study at CBWCD provided the opportunity for a mulch/no mulch treatment for four of the most promising species which was space-limited at UCR.
Below are plot photos from October 2016 (right after planting), July 2020 (no irrigation for 3 months), a mature 'Desert Museum' tree in prolific bloom (photo credit to Dr. Bob Perry, Emeritus Professor, Cal Poly Pomona), and a mature Chilopsis linearis 'Bubba' from our UCR plot.
Save the date! We will be hosting a virtual UCR Field Day on September 3, 2020 featuring our drought-tolerant landscape plots at UC Riverside that was to be held live last May. More information is forthcoming but it will provide at least four hours of continuing education hours and a chance for you to ask questions of Dr's Amir Haghverdi, Don Merhaut and myself.
Have a wonderful August in your garden!
UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Spotlight: Vikki Gerdes - A Master Gardener Dedicated to Water Wise Gardening
I recently spent a delightful morning with UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) San Bernardino County Master Gardener Vikki Gerdes, chatting in her light-filled kitchen over coffee and cookies about why she loves gardening and the UCCE Master Gardener...
Sensors, drones, and CIMIS: UCCE Partners with EarthWatch and CBWCD to Save Water in Urban Landscapes
On Friday UCCE San Bernardino County Master Gardener Coordinator Maggie O'Neill and I hosted a tour that showcased UC ANR Urban Water Use Specialist's Amir Haghverdi's landscape plots at the UCR Citrus Experiment Station. In attendance were CEO Scott Kania and Lead Scientist Mark Chandler from EarthWatch, Becky Rittenburg and Monica Curiel from Chino Basin Water Conservation District, and Darrel Jenerette, UC Riverside Professor of Landscape Ecology. Our team is implementing an exciting citizen science project measuring water conservation based on implementing 'best practices' in urban landscapes in the greater Los Angeles Basin.
Amir Haghverdi showing plots to EarthWatch, UCCE and CBWCD teams
EarthWatch, CBWCD, and UCCE San Bernardino team
Are you prepared for and emergency? Do you have a 3 day supply of emergency food and water on hand? Do you have supplies for a week? Two Weeks?
Utah State University (USU) recommends one gallon of water per person, per day, for drinking and hygiene. If you live in a hot arid area like we do, you should store more water per person, per day. And don't forget food and water for your household pets and/or livestock!
The home canner has a wonderful resource at her/his fingertips: home canning experience and skills. A home canner can preserve food at home by pressure and boiling-water bath canning and dehydration to store in an emergency. If home preserved in glass jars these supplies would be specifically stored in a place to minimize jar breakage and maximize access during the emergency. You can keep three day food/water kits in your home or car trunks, to be rotated in and out of service at regular intervals.
A home canner can also preserve water. Water, as it comes from a municipal supply, is good to store in food-safe gallon jugs (page 1), according to USU; just fill from the tap and screw on the lids. To increase safety for longer term storage, water may be heat treated in sealed jars as instructed in "Water: Storage and Emergency Use", page 2, from the USU. Sounds like a good use for all those quart jars so often see in thrift shops.
The above is just a little information contained on the USU site "Food Storage". Please take a look and download their booklet "A Guide To Food Storage For Emergencies" for more information; just click on the picture of the booklet.
Need a brush-up on canning techniques? Are you a little fuzzy on the hows and whys of water-bath (WB) canning? Want to make sure you practice safe preserving? Need some hands-on WB practice?
Attend the Canning Tune-up Class, have fun, and get valuable info and practice!