Q. I have a patch of grass in my back yard and I would like to put plants, shrubs and flowers around the perimeter. Can you tell me what type of plants to put since they will be getting their water from the sprinklers? I follow the watering schedule for my area and during the summer months there will be a lot of water so I would need to know what plants and shrubs like a lot of water.
A. This is not how we should be thinking of watering in the desert. Plants that grow on the perimeter of a lawn survive because of the over irrigation of the lawn. If we give the lawn precisely the amount of water which it needs, there will be very little water left for plants growing along the perimeter of it.
|This Siberian elm has died back because it was surrounded|
by grass and now was replaced with desert landscape
and rock mulch
Lawns are watered frequently and with small volumes of water because of their shallow root system. Other shallow rooted plants, like annual flowers and vegetables, are watered in the same manner and require the same frequency of irrigation.
Deeply rooted trees and shrubs are watered less often but with a higher volume of water so that their entire root system is wetted when the irrigation has been completed.