Irrigating A Better Way
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Irrigating A Better Way

For years I wanted to grow fruits and veggies in my own yard. Unfortunately, every single time I would plant some seeds, they would fail before they ever took off. It was frustrating, but I simply figured I didn't know enough about gardening to make things work. I was right. After reading a book about garden equipment, I could tell that my irrigation techniques were lacking. Some of my garden wasn't getting enough water, and some of it was getting way too much. This blog is all about watering your garden so that you can maximize your results and improve your supply.


Irrigating A Better Way

Keep Wildfires At Bay Using Zones In Your Landscaping

Raymond Smith

If you live in a forested or rural area, wildfires are a real threat to your home and property. But there are ways to reduce the danger of losing out to natural destruction like this. The best defense against fire from the surrounding area is to design your outdoor space and landscaping in a series of zones -- each designed to do something a little different. 

Zone 1 -- The Home

Zone 1 is the space between your house's walls and about 30 feet out. This area should consist of the least amount of combustible material possible. Here are a few ways to accomplish that:

  • Remove all debris and dead vegetation from around the home.
  • Use hardscaping such as stone patios and gravel walkways around the house to keep flammable material at least 5 feet away from the walls. 
  • Keep the grass trimmed neatly.
  • Use fire-resistant outdoor furniture as well as fire-proof patio or deck material. 
  • Space plants apart and avoid plants that have wax, sap or resin. 
  • Move wood stacks out of Zone 1 entirely. 
  • Thin trees to about 30 feet apart and remove branches hanging close to the home or other vegetation. 

Zone 2 -- The Yard

Zone 2 (30 to 100 feet from the home) is the place to create well-watered areas and fire breaks to slow a fire's advance. Landscape using plants that retain more moisture, such as the Western Wood Lily or the Miniature Mat Daisy. Drip irrigation systems are useful in Zone 2 because they ensure the area receives adequate water on a regular basis. Use a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees, but be careful to leave plenty of space between them. A good rule of thumb is about 10 feet between individual trees and up to 30 feet between bunches of trees. 

Fire breaks in Zone 2 are important, so design your yard with a few natural breaks. Driveways and walkways made with fire-resistant materials like brick, gravel, stone or concrete are a good way to do so. You can also break up planted areas with low-cut grass lawns. 

Zone 3 -- The Entrance

Discouraging fire from entering your living space begins as it approaches your home. The space between 100 and 200 feet from the house (Zone 3) should be thinned so as to make it hard for fire to find a way to move forward. Thin out surrounding trees so that their canopies do not touch above. Get rid of smaller trees growing up between the old ones. Trim off branches within about 10 feet from the ground, denying fire a way to easily climb from the ground. And clean out the underbrush on a regular basis. 

It may take a little time and family effort to adjust the yard to a fire-resistant zone system, but it will provide a great deal of peace of mind when fire season arrives. 

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