Gardens, lawns, trees and shrubs feel the burn of inevitable dry times in broilingGeorgia summers.But you can slake your plants’ thirst until the rains come, says Wayne McLaurin, ahorticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.Plants need soil moisture to grow. In fact, a healthy plant is 75 percent to 90 percentwater. During this critical time in their growing season, plants just can’t do without, McLaurin says.”Vegetable crops need about an inch of water per weekfrom rain, irrigation or both,” he says. “Keep a rain gauge near the garden or check with the local weatherbureau for rainfall amounts. Supplement rainfall with irrigation water if needed.”During dry times, a single thorough, weekly watering of one to two inches (65 to 130gallons per 100 square feet) is enough for most soils. Wet soils five to six inches deepeach time you water, and don’t water again until the top few inches begin to dry out. Theaverage garden soil will store two to four inches of water per foot of depth.You can reduce the water you need by using some simple conservation techniques:* Add organic matter. Soil moisture may not be available to plants, particularly if thesoil is a heavy clay, which tends to retain water.For example, if four and a half inches of water per foot are in a heavy clay soil, aslittle as one and a half inches may be available for plants. A fairly high level of humusin the soil can make more water available to plants.Adding organic matter also improves the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils.Although most water in sandy soil is available for plants, it drains so quickly that evena few days after rain, plants can’t reach it. Humus in sandy soil gives the watersomething to cling to until the plants need it. * Mulching can greatly reduce your watering needs. A three- to four-inch layer oforganic mulch can cut water needs in half.Mulch smothers weeds and keeps water from evaporating so fast from the soil. Organicmulches hold some water themselves and increase the humidity around a plant.Black plastic mulch also conserves moisture. But it may make the soil dramaticallyhotter during summer if it isn’>t covered by other mulches.* Shading and windbreaks can also help conserve moisture. Plants that wilt in verysunny areas can benefit from partial shade in the afternoon. Protect small plants. When the rains don’t come and the plants are suffering, it’s time to irrigate. “The home gardener has several options for wateringplants,”McLaurin says. “Usea sprinkler can, a garden hose with a fan nozzle or spray attachment, portable lawnsprinklers, a perforated plastic soaker hose, drip or trickle irrigation or asemiautomatic drip system.”Several types of drip or trickle equipment are available. The soaker hose is probablythe least expensive and easiest to use. It’s a fibrous hose that allows water to slowlyseep out along its length.Hoses perforated with tiny holes do the same thing: water slowly drips out of theholes. An emitter-type system works best for small raised beds or container gardens. Shorttubes, or emitters, extend from a main water supply hose and directly deposit water at theroots of selected plants.This is generally the most expensive form of irrigation and the hardest to set up. Butweeds don’t getwatered and you don’t lose much water through evaporation. Emitter systems are most effective when combined with coarse mulch or black plastic.Drip systems sometimes clog with soil particles or mineral salts from spring or wellwater. But some new designs include filters and self-flushing emitters.”Plants don’t waste water. People do,” McLaurin says.
Speculation is brewing in Singapore that a merger might be on the cards between the country’s offshore rig building giants Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine.Illustration: Keppel shipyard / Image source: KeppelThe rumors were boosted by Temasek’s intended offer to take over a controlling interest in Keppel, in a deal valued S$4.1 billion. If successful, the offer will result in Temasek owning an aggregate 51% of Keppel Corporation.If successful, Temasek plans to carry out a strategic review of Keppel’s business. This review, according to Temasek, may result in Keppel refocusing on and strengthening certain businesses, and/or potential corporate actions including, but not limited to, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, disposals, mergers, or other transactions involving Keppel.Following the announcement on Temasek’s push to increase its shareholding in Keppel, the shares of Keppel rose. However, the trading activity and price in rival Sembcorp Marine’s shares rose as well leading the Singapore exchange to send a query to Sembcorp Marine seeking an explanation.Sembcorp Marine, majority-owned by Sembcorp Industries in which Temasek owns a 49 percent stake, said it was unaware of any information not previously announced concerning the company that might explain the trading activity.Asked if it was aware of any other explanation for the trading including rumors or reports Sembcorp Marine said: “Save for possible market speculation arising from the announced voluntary pre-conditional cash partial offer for shares in Keppel Corporation Limited by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, the Company is not aware of any possible explanation for the trading today.”OCBC Bank has also commented on Temasek’s Keppel move and potential implications on Sembcorp Marine.“We expect that [Temasek] will succeed in reaching its intended ownership of [Keppel] given the lackluster performance of [Keppel’s] equity in recent years which should encourage shareholders to tender their shares,” OCBC said.Related: Temasek in bid to take control of KeppelOn the potential merger Keppel O&M and Sembcorp Marine, OCBC said: “While a merger between [Keppel’s] Offshore and Marine arm and Sembcorp Marine Ltd has long been speculated by the equity markets, we have not seen it as base case given [Keppel’s] intense focus on diversification into other income streams (predominantly into telecommunications and asset management) in recent years and expanding [Keppel Offshore & Marine’s] into new areas of growth.However, with the impending introduction of Temasek as controlling shareholder at Keppel, this in our view is likely to lead to changes in Keppel’s strategic direction.According to OCBC, given that Sembcorp Industries is ~49.5% owned by Temasek, the existence of a common major shareholder increases the probability of a merger between Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine.“Temasek’s portfolio includes both listed and unlisted companies within telecommunication, data centers, and property, areas which overlap with [Keppel’s] businesses. Historically, Temasek has taken majority control of its investee companies and subsequently sold them down. In our view, there is no certainty that Temasek’s ownership stake in [Keppel] is going to stay constant which should lead to a steepening of the [Keppel] curve. Overall, we think the development is positive for the short end of KEP’s curve though neutral-to-negative for the medium-long dated end of the curve,” OCBC said.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email.Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.
Monaco have confirmed that striker Ibrahima Toure has left the club.In a short statement on their official website, the club said Toure had joined Arabian side Al Nasr.The Senegal striker played a key role in Monaco’s return to Ligue 1, scoring 31 goals in 58 games across a season and a half in the Principality.