Watering Hillside Landscaping

I got a call from a client on the hill today regarding some shrubs that were dying for no obvious reason. I first checked the shrubs for visible signs of insects and disease and found no sign of either. 

I then checked to make sure that the drip system was watering correctly. After checking everything, I determined that the system was indeed coming on as it should. However, after checking each individual plant I discovered that the soil around them was dry.

Now with these plants being on a very steep slope I already had a good idea of what was happening and was going to take care of it just as soon as I got back from hunting down and beating a couple of my best crew members.

It seems that the drip lines that feed each plant had been placed even with and on the downhill side of the shrubs. So even though the system was coming on twice a day, the water was running down below the plants and not saturating the root zone.

There are a few tricks to properly watering plants on slopes. One is to make sure that the source is on the uphill side of the plants so that it runs down to the plant.

Another is to set the system to come on at intervals instead of watering all at once. If your plants need an hour worth of drip, for instance, it’s best to break the cycle up into two or three short periods instead of all at once. If you set it for all at once you get too much run off and not enough saturation down to the roots. 

So to fix the problem, I moved the drip lines and made sure that wells were created on the downhill side of the shrubs. Creating wells is also another necessity that keeps the water on the root zone on slopes. And just for added measure, I set the system to water for three 20 minute cycles instead of two thirty minute cycles.

We’ll see how it turns out in a few weeks. Oh ya, I didn’t really beat my crew members. Other than a few mistakes here and there, they’re the absolute best in the business.

Pictures Of Sloped, Terraces, And Hillside Landscaping 

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