Watering Tips for the Garden

Over the next sixty days we will experience some of the hottest temperatures of the year. Proper watering will be crucial to maintain your garden. The following suggestions may help you with the most important of garden chores.

Water during the early morning to give plants a head start before signs of wilting appear.

Water deeply to discourage shallow root growth. For large shrubs and trees build an earthen berm around the trunk and let the hose trickle 15 minutes for deep water penetration.

For plants in containers consider what type and size pots you have. Porous pots such as terra cotta or moss hanging baskets will wick moisture out of the soil faster than plastic or glazed pots. Larger pots with more soil holding capacity will hold moisture longer.

Consider use of soil polymers such as “Soil Moist” to increase moisture retention.

For flower beds and veggie gardens a top dressing of organic matter such as compost, wood chips or pine straw will act as a blanket to help prevent moisture evaporation.

If your garden has an automatic irrigation system (underground or drip) check to see that all sprinkler heads are operating. Watch for clogged emitters. Soft poly drip lines can easily be damaged by garden tools.

Finally, be proactive. If the forecast calls for an extended heat wave be prepared to do some extra hand watering. Conversely, unusually cool weather will allow you to go longer between waterings saving you time and water.