Watering plants, a lawn or a vegetable garden in hot weather can be a challenge. Many crops are especially vulnerable during periods of extreme heat. It’s important to water properly to protect the health of your plants. The good news is that a little planning and the right tools can make the job easier. Here are helpful tips on how to water your garden in the heat.
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Defense mechanism of plants in hot weather
Smart gardeners are those who can recognize changes in a plant’s behavior. In particular, they need to recognize when a plant needs water and when it has received too much moisture. Some plants tend to become floppy during the day when temperatures are high . This is a type of defense mechanism. By slowing down, the plant can use its resources more efficiently. It usually comes back to life in the morning hours when it can absorb more water.
Other plants only droop their leaves when they have not received enough water. When these plants begin to droop, they may be stressed. It is important that you provide them with water immediately.
Watering flowers in the heat: when and how?
These are the important tips to help you water your flowers properly in the summer:
- Water plants a lot on a sunny day.
- Water plants in the ground in the garden in the morning or evening: in hot weather, water in the morning when it is cooler. You could also schedule watering in the evening, just be careful not to get the water on the plants’ leaves.
- Avoid watering in full sun.
- Place potted plants in the shade, or water them several times a day.
- Cold water from the tap is good for plants.
- Shield heat-sensitive plants from excessive sun.
- Planters dry out much faster than the soil and need to be watered more often, especially if they are in full sun or exposed to wind.
- Pay particular attention to shade plants and plants from cooler or wetter areas that are less adapted to the current weather.
- Brown leaf edges and/or yellow leaves may indicate overwatering. Check for this before watering more.
Water vegetable garden properly on hot days
Vegetables thrive when the roots are moist and the leaves or fruits remain dry. Young seedlings can do with less water, but larger vegetable plants need more water to grow well. To water your vegetable garden in hot weather, leave the hose on the soil surface and let the soil soak up the water. Also, run the water in a gentle stream around the roots of the plants.
For vegetables grown underground, make sure the water doesn’t pool in one spot or it can cause rot. Be careful not to wet the vegetables to prevent diseases like powdery mildew that thrive on moisture.
Water your vegetables at least two to three times a week during very hot weather, and watch for your “indicator plant” – the first plant to wilt when the garden becomes dry. You’ll always know to water when that plant has droopy leaves. This is the cucumbers, for example, because the large leaves quickly lose a lot of moisture. You should also know that if the weather is very hot, dry and sunny, the large-leaved plants will definitely wilt a little at midday, but should recover quickly in the evening.
How often to water the lawn in the heat?
Since the lawn has a larger area than the other gardens, you will need a larger source of water for irrigation: use hoses or pre-installed sprinklers. Water your lawn generously, as most water seeps into the soil. Plants benefit much more from a slow, deep watering than a quick sprinkle. Be sure to water your lawn deep enough to reach the root ball. For best results, water thoroughly every other day. Your lawn should receive about 1 inch of water every other day to grow deeper roots and protect against drought. If you’re away on summer vacation for more than a day or two, it’s worth setting up an automatic timer.
Keep water in the soil with mulch
An organic mulch layer spread around and under plants is a welcome barrier between moist soil and the hot sun. A 5-7 inch layer of mulch makes a big difference in hot weather, acting as a shade cloth that holds moisture and cools plant roots. Without mulch, the intense sun will burn the soil and you’ll have to water the garden even more.
What type of soil do you have in your garden?
It is important to know the soil type to determine the watering needs of your plants. For example, a sandy or loamy soil will need more frequent watering than a clay soil. Stick your finger 3 inches deep into the soil to check the moisture content and water your plants accordingly.