Hi gardening enthusiasts,

Well, I told you we were going to talk about top roots, so here it is. Because of our inconsistent rainfall in South Texas most of us rely on sprinkler systems to keep our landscapes beautiful. We run them about two to three times a week for about 15 minutes per station and everything does well. The only problem is that our larger trees and shrubs that have heavier root structures start looking for that water and inevitably their roots rise to the soil surface. Large trees, like Live Oaks, Mesquites, and Pecans, to name a few, should all be watered deeply and less frequently. When these trees are small, a soaker or bubbler near the trunk can give a good amount of water. As the tree grows, spread the drip or soaker to water deep, 18- to 36-inches down. Trees and other plants need more water in the extreme heat than in the winter, so make sure you cut back on the time as the days start to really cool down. Water, too much or too little, is usually where most problems start. Happy gardening.

Hollie Bishop Elliott is an Innovative Environments Project Manager/Designer (innovativenvironments.com). Ask her a question: hollie_bishop@yahoo.com.