The crabapple tree has seen an improvement! The first thing I/we did was adjust the sprinkler spray. Now the bed underneath the tree isn't directly watered. To the left of the tree, there is a sprinkler head in a far corner. At one time, we adjusted it to a 90 degree rotating spray so that, while we were on vacation, the container plants we placed under the tree for shade would also get water. The wet area included the tree and plants under it. The head wasn't adjusted properly back, and the constant soaking contributed to the bark swelling and cracking. Unfortunately, the spray head can only be adjusted so narrow, and I had to make it so that the spray hits the leaves and falls, rather than hitting lower and getting the trunk. The lawn is hit by another rotating head and gets drainage, so it works.
To the right, there is one along the patio edge. It had been set at a 180 degree rotating spray, which also hit the trunk. (Yes, I know. The installers did not listen to me, did it their way, and actually made several mistakes.) So that was adjusted to spray lower and miss the trunk, as well, so it would get more of the lawn.
The tree is doing better than in previous years. As a matter of fact, some of the branches were so overladen with fruit that I had to cut them back quite a bit (three bags worth) -- they were 1' from the ground! I hated to do it in this 100 degree heat, but it really had to be done. The crab gets water from the roots, and the drainage grading allows for plenty of that. Plus, DH is still watering the lawn regularly and everything is thriving.
I think this fall I'll have an arborist come out and prune this tree properly. Another tree has been overtaken by insects and needs to be removed, too.
The rest of my garden is doing quite well. I hope to have favorable report on the tomatoes next week. Since it's too hot (extended 100 degree days) to spend too much time outside, it's a little morning or evening work, and sort of letting the yard do its own thing this year. Here's my garden plan for the week:
- Keep hand watering the tomatoes and herb pot in the back, and the little corner of lawn that isn't getting sprinklered these days.
- Keep watering the hanging baskets in the front, which are doing amazingly well this year.
- Try to get out in the morning shade to clean up the picker bush trimmings that DH left for someone else to do. And never told me about. I stepped on one.