It's Finally Raining in California!


Thanks Richard.
Wow, you think it can go 5 days between watering with these crazy temps?
I know there are no leaves pushing yet, but I thought a pup might croak with lack of water.


IF your mulch is the 4-5 inches depth it appears to be AND you soak/saturate the underlying soil with no runoff – yes.


Alright good to know.
The mulch is only 2-3" ATM. I’ll add some more.


Looks like San Diego is in for a good soak this weekend!


Just ignore the chance of snow …


Damn. And that’s crazy chilly, and wet, for this late in the season. Looks like our rain is finished for the year. Fingers crossed


@Calron, I agree with you. Maybe the model prediction is that the system in the Gulf of Alaska will skitter down the coast and come inland in southern California?


Yup…cold air being pulled down and flung across S Cali in the long range… pumps the ridge up in the middle of the country…Areas in North Dakota will probably be 90F while San Diegoans shiver :wink:


Since the plant doesn’t have leaves it isn’t using water. So I’d think you could go longer than 5 days. And it doesn’t take 4-5 inches of mulch to nearly stop evaporation. Your 2-3 inches is more than enough. In field crops anything that shades the soil reduces evaporation substantially. That’s where the real research on mulch requirements has been conducted.


Yeah, I was thinking the water requirements would be low without leaves, but it is a newly planted corm/pup and the combination of mid 90’sF i didn’t want to fry it either.


Crazy year lol


Shade would be more effective than drowning the poor thing, IMO. Two layers of Agribon 19 or equivalent is very effective for these purposes.


Looking at the models…its going to be a huge change the next 4 days… Wowsers… Like winter down in San Diego…low 60Fs…


@fruitnut - An individual Musa pup (detached from mother corm) needs to develop a significant corm and root system before putting out agressive growth. They are surface feeders and the root/rhizome systems will only advance into areas that are damp. Further, once its roots are established it will ingest water at tremendous rates to cope with the relatively high heat and extremely low humidity at @Calron’s location. If it is highly mulched and soaked thoroughly with a perimeter to keep the water focused, I believe that every 5 days would be sufficient for now. In my case (with mature Musas) I am currently watering twice per week.


Well it won’t ingest water at tremendous rates without leaves. Nothing does that besides maybe a whale.


Or a tropical annual bulb.


In my unirrigated nursery, I put a layer of thin plastic at the base of planting holes to steer roots outward instead of downward in the pursuit of water. When I first tried this I feared that interfering with drainage might be very harmful- instead it turned out to be highly useful. There is heavy root colonization of soil contacting the plastic, apparently to sip the water that his trapped there. My trees grow more vigorously with the plastic than without and they are also a lot easier to dig.

I wonder if this method could be of use in growing plants like Musa.

As far as FN’s comments about mulch, I believe that some mulches function as reservoirs if they hold a lot of water as do rotting wood chips. I believe the water is pulled by capillary action into the soil below as plants remove water from that soil. If I’m correct (and I’ve no research to back my belief) the more mulch the greater access to water. It wouldn’t even have to be capillary pull, mychorizal fungi could also deliver the water to plants.


If the mulch holds water the roots will move in and now your mulch is soil. It doesn’t take capillary action or fungus but that could aid the process. But even if the roots don’t move into the mulch the soil will stay wet closer to the surface so the active roots expand into more soil.


In my experience this is often not the case and at the end of the season there is not apparent root activity in coarse wood chips. By the second season- yes. In any case, the point about a heavier mulch application creating a reservoir is not changed either way, although the elaboration is appreciated.


The prediction for rain this weekend in our area has been cut back by half: