Sunday, May 6, 2012

What It Takes To Water Trees In A Drought

We have an acre of dry cracked barren south Texas land with 4 trees, 1 shrub, and 1 grapevine that I have to water by hand because apparently it is never going to rain a decent amount every again in the summer as long as we live here.  This is probably just a personal opinion but based on the past 3 summers we have lived here, it makes it hard to argue with my logic!  I planted my first trees back in April of 2009 and had a total of 18 baby trees.  Drought has claimed the lives of 13 of them.  THIRTEEN!! Grrr....

In the past I have stood outside for 45 minutes or so holding the water hose and sweating as I tried to save my remaining trees from death by sun/heat/drought. This was always after 8 PM since we were in some high stage of drought restrictions.  The sun had set, but it would still be in the 90's and just miserable.  It was never fun to go water the trees and so they never got watered as much as they should have, except that one time I left the hose running all night because I forgot to turn the stupid water off, but that is another story.

This year I got smart.  I hooked up a system of water hoses and water hose splitters so that all I have to do is go outside to turn on the faucet and water will travel through a maze hoses to all the plants at once. I will  leave it on for 30 minutes or so as I sit inside in the nice cool A/C, and then go back outside again for a few minutes to turn it off.  It is beautiful and it works!  Let me show you the set up.


If tall weeds and unkempt yards offend you do not continue reading.  Thank you.


It starts here in the backyard with a leaking faucet.  We only have one outside water faucet.

 The beginning source in the backyard

Split 1 happens in the backyard.

Water hose split 1

The hose goes pass this tree which sprung up last summer during the worse drought in Texas history without me watering it one bit! I have no plans on watering it now! We actually thought it might be a weed, but it lost leaves when winter hit and they came back when spring came around. *shrug* I actually want to move it to the front but have to wait until it goes dormant again.  It is already taller than me!

The native tree that grows without my help

The hose goes pass the dead possum. I am not touching it at this point! Ew!

The dead possum that I am not going to touch.

Split 2!

Water hose split 2

The first plant to get water from my maze of hoses is the grapevine. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will get a grape from it. I already forgot what type they were.

The Grapevine that needs water
Ok, so maybe I didn't need 50 feet of hose here.

  50 foot hose-slight overkill

Split 3! So sweet of Dal to help point it out!

  Water hose split 3

Tree 1 of 4 that gets water. This is either a dogwood, redbud, or a golden rain tree. I can't remember and I can't find the paper where I wrote it down. Anyone know?

Tree 1 of 4 that requires water

The hose (I might be on hose number 5 by now) goes around the fence...

The hose stretches around the fence

...and down the entire fence line.

  The hose stretches all the way down the fence line

Attention! We have a changing of the color guard hose!

Changing of the color hose

The hose continues past the thistle in the sunset.

Hose goes past the thistle in the sunset

It is now at tree 2 of 4. This is also either a redbud, dogwood, or golden rain tree. It was doing very well until my husband reduced it to almost nothing when he ran over it with the lawn mower. Despite the fact that I told him 3 times where it was. It now has big white pvc pipe around it. He can't miss it!

Tree 2 of 4 that really needs water since my husband ran it over with the lawn mower

The hose continues past one of the many many mesquite trees that are native to Texas. Those things can grow with NO water what so ever! It is crazy. I am tempted to nurture some of them just so that I can have some trees!  They do have thorns though...

  One of many mesquite trees that will not get water from me

Continuing on, we have now gone from one side of the house, around the back to the other side, and are passing the bluebonnets that have gone to seed now. Once they are done we will be able to mow that small patch. We were blessed with them in our yard, because they are not just everywhere where we are. They pop up sporadically.

  The hose passes by the bluebonnets that have gone to seed

Now we are at tree 3 of 4 and split 4! This is my hazelnut tree. I love my hazelnut tree! It even produced one hazelnut last year and that makes me happy.

Hazelnut tree 3 of 4 that needs water

The last tree and split 5, the last split, but not last plant to get water from my homespun watering system is my favorite tree of all. It is my cherry tree. I thought it was going to give me a cherry this year, but it doesn't look like it is. I had such high hopes. I was going to make a tiny cherry pie with that one cherry. Sigh. Maybe next year. It is the tree that has done the best from the very beginning.

Cherry tree- Tree 4 of 4 that needs water

Now the hose has it final stretch of over 50 feet.

The hose stretches across the yard to the shrub

But it has to pass by some very dry cracked barren earth.

The hose passes by the cracked earth

The last plant to get water is the Forsythia shrub. I am shocked this plant is still alive. It must be a fighter! A tiny one, but still!

The Forsythia that I am surprise is still around that needs water

So 5 splits and at least 10 water hoses later, I have what it takes to easily water trees in a drought!  Hopefully with this setup I will water more often, my trees with grow, and people will stop making fun of them.  And you people know who you are, because mainly you are my husband!

So there!   ;)