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Why does the city water planters after and even during rainfall?

Posted by Adam in Gardening, 8/12, 6:30 AM

In the midst of a generally dry summer it may not be as frequent of a topic as in an average year, but with a little rain having fallen on the weekend and more in the forecast for today you can quite possibly expect the reappearance of one of the more common comments/questions of well-meaning austerity-focused folks:

“Why are city staff driving around watering flowers after it just rained (Or maybe even while rain is falling)?”

After the topic was raised at a council meeting last month it turns out the answer can be paraphrased quite simply... “So the plants get the water they need to thrive and survive.” Via July 15’s council minutes, the official response via City Manager Rod Sage was less blunt in responding to a query on the topic:

“Councillor LoRegio advised that he had received enquiries from residents with respect to city employees watering planters in the rain or shortly after a rainfall and enquired as to the reasons for same.

At the request of His Worship the Mayor, the City Manager responded that the reservoirs in the large planters were filled every 10-15 days with the hanging baskets being filled 2-3 times per week dependent on the heat/sun. Mr. Sage noted that due to the size of the plants and flowers and the canopy in the planters, very little rain reached the soil and therefore, staff usually needed to water planters and baskets after a rainfall.”

Or to put it another way, your average rainfall just doesn't do the job when it comes to the water needs that come with growing these types of plants in a container environment.

Via a section of the Brandon in Bloom website, most recently published info has the city maintaining a collection of 278 hanging baskets and 204 large boulevard planters with an emphasis on built-in reservoirs that reduce watering needs. 

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