Water Wise Program Coordinator, UA Cochise County Cooperative Extension
The ever enthusiastic and very popular Jan Groth will be sharing her vast knowledge with workshop participants as a Cochise County Master Gardener and Arizona Certified Landscape Professional.
Jan has presented Water Wise workshops in the past - but they have only been 2 hours long. Because she has so much to share, this workshop is split into two sessions. From 9-11:30am, Jan will talk about proper planting and plant care, and from 12-2 pm she will show off many desert adapted plants.
In between sessions, participants are encouraged to sit on the wood deck at the Preserve and eat their lunch under the shade of the sycamore trees. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch.
Even though participants do not have to attend both sessions, they will want to!
The morning session will cover the basics of high desert gardening. Jan will start by giving a brief orientation to the southwest and conditions specific to this climate. For example, west facing walls are hot locations, the winds come from the southwest, vegetable gardens should be located to avoid the hot afternoon sun, and the slope of your yard should be observed for rainwater flows.
How much water you use depends on plant choices and planting locations. Desert adapted plants are easy to care for because they like to grow in our climate and don't use a lot of water. They can be located anywhere in the landscape and are especially valuable for low care areas.
Grouping like water use plants in "zones" makes watering more efficient. Irrigation systems should be designed to water high, moderate or low water use plants separately. This is easy to do if like water need plants are planted in the same areas.
Many popular desert adapted landscape plants are moderate water users and need water only every 2 to 3 weeks. Low water plants need water even less than that, and high water plants need water every week. If they are on the same watering schedule, you may be encouraging disease and making more work for yourself with pruning excessive growth.
The morning session will also cover how to correctly choose plants from a nursery, how to plant them, when or if they need to be fertilized, and pruning tips. Container planting will also be discussed.
After lunch, the afternoon session will be about plants, plants and more plants. Jan will bring a truckload of desert adapted plants, and she will talk about the features of each one. At the end of the workshop, the plants will be for sale.
There is a wide variety of plants from groundcovers to trees that work very well in a low water landscape. Trailing indigo bush, lantana, verbenas and sundrops make dense and colorful groundcovers while the soft wooly butterfly bush tempts you to rub its fuzzy leaves. Who says desert plants are prickly?
exas rangers (often called sages) come in many varieties with flowers of white to rich purple. The leaves of this evergreen bush can be deep green to almost white. If a tall Texas ranger doesn't fit your landscape plan, then how about selecting a short one? Because of its diversity, the Texas ranger is a winner in the desert landscape.
When you know how to put it all together - learning about your site, choosing the right plants, planting carefully, watering correctly and knowing how to care for your landscape - you will have the right recipe for a successful landscape.
Grab your lunch and come on over to the Folklore Preserve on August 5 and learn how easy it can be.
For more information on water conservation and to access the Water Wise Hot-Line, call 364-4146. Water Wise literature is also available at the city library and on the website www.ag.arizona.edu/cochise/waterwise. The Douglas Water Wise program is conducted in partnership with Cochise County.
The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities