When an OSCAR system is first installed, the appearance is a little strange. Depending on where the sand used in the installation was mined, it can be light to dark gray or even tan. Initially, the sand doesn’t have much structure, giving the impression that the system will remain a shifting pile of sand with no vegetative growth. This isn’t the case and owners should keep the following in mind.
Sand Receives Nutrient-Rich Liquid
It’s important to understand that the sand around an OSCAR system receives nutrient-rich liquid via drip irrigation tubing. After activation, the sand becomes water-settled and becomes firm within days. At this point, the water and nutrients become available for plants.
Perfect Environment for Plant Growth
The consistent flow of water and nutrients in the sand creates an environment that is very conducive to plant growth. As a result, whatever you decide to plant will grow.
Some Plants Should be Avoided
What plants can you grow around your OSCAR system? It may be better to mention what shouldn’t be planted in the area. Large trees, for example, should never be planted within the coils. As the tree grows and the trunk enlarges, the nearby tubing could be damaged. Trees can, however, be planted in the sand away from the coils. Blackberries should also be kept away from the system, as they make access and maintenance nearly impossible.
Virtually anything else, though, can be planted on or around the OSCAR system, including grasses, shrubs and ground covers.
If the OSCAR system is installed in a desert climate, there may be significant evaporation during the summer months. Consider covering all or a portion of the sand with bark mulch, washed rock or decomposed granite. These materials will help keep the sand moist, as well as holding the sand in place if it becomes significantly dry.
Serving Washington and Idaho