I have been anxiously desperately waiting for the summer rain to come.
But that doesn't mean I can stop watering. Rain is very important to gardens in the southwest mainly because it is the primary source for good tree watering. Most homeowners rely on inappropriate watering methods such as sprinklers, or just don't water enough.
Regardless of whether or not there appears to be rain in the forecast, it's still a good practice to water your trees.
For me, I've found that using a water hose works best. I once had my trees on a drip system, but the growth rate required me to make adjustments every 3-4 years, which was (surprisingly) more than I wanted to keep up with.
So I disconnected the drip line and set out the hose.
With the hose on a very low flow rate (about 1/2gal per minute on ground and 1gal per minute in lawn), I just let it run all weekend moving about every 6-12 hours around each tree (north,south,east,west). This allows for good deep watering, and then when the rains do come, the soil is primed to soak it up.
Check out more on watering at the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.
If you're in the Phoenix area, you can sign-up for my Permaculture Guild workshop this coming Wednesday 08/05/2009 on watering in the garden.
I'll share great tips not only on what, how, and when to water, but also some fun demos on building and using watering systems.