Landscapes can be zoned based on plant water needs. Zoning or hydro-zoning, is a common method of grouping plants with similar water needs to save water and simplify irrigation scheduling. While zoning is an easy method, it’s not uncommon to purposely or accidently put the wrong plant in the wrong zone. As a result, some plants are either getting over or under watered.
If you have drip irrigation, you can always plug or add emitters as needed. If plugging emitters is too difficult, try replacing the drip tubing with blank tubing over the root system of a low water use plant. This can fix the problem without interfering with the water delivery to the other plants in that water zone.
If there are plants in a low water zone not getting enough water, additional emitters, mini-bubblers or mini-dripline can be added to the root zone of that plant. Again, this won’t interfere with the water delivery to the other plants in that zone.
Hydro-zoning is generally composed of three areas; the oasis, transition and arid zones. Ideally, high water use plants are used next to the house and patio spaces in the “oasis”. These plants need regular watering, like, flowering annuals, vegetables and turfgrass.
The next water zone serves as a “transition”, blending the oasis and the arid zones. The plants in this zone range from moderate to low water use requiring irrigation water once every seven to 10 days in the heat of summer.
The “arid” zone is composed of native and water efficient plants. These plants can get by on rainfall or an occasional irrigation. This zone is located farthest from the house and can blend into the native vegetation of the area.
So, re-leaf can come by adding or subtracting drip irrigation water where it is needed.