Eco-Friendly Summer Watering Tips
As we begin July and feel its infamous warmth, we need to remember to keep ourselves and our gardens hydrated. Good watering practices will help your garden stay cool while the sun brings the heat. Here are some of our tips to help your plants—and the planet— stay healthy.
- Check your soil for moisture near the roots of your plants. You can do this by feeling it with your fingers or using a soil moisture meter. If it feels dry one to two inches down, grab your hose!
- Water early in the morning. Midday heat causes water to evaporate faster, so take advantage of cooler early morning hours.
- Water directly to the soil at the root zone. Roots absorb water quickly from the soil; water on foliage evaporates fast and could lead to fungal diseases like powdery mildew.
- Water slowly and deeply. Quick splashes of water won’t allow the water to get deep enough to the roots. If water is puddling, the surface soil may be too dry; soften the surface with water and let it sit for a few minutes before watering thoroughly. For containers, water until you see water coming out of drainage holes at the bottom.
- If your region gets above 85°F, expect to water vegetables and other new plantings daily if no soaking rain falls. If your plants are wilting in the middle of the day, check the soil before watering; some plants wilt to conserve moisture and recover in the evening.
- Plants in containers need more frequent watering than plants in the ground. Make sure to water your containers daily, especially those in full sun or exposed to wind.
- To conserve moisture (and as a bonus reduce weed growth), apply a layer of bark mulch or leaf mold on the soil surface around plants and in containers.
- Keep track of rain with a rain gauge to make sure you and Mother Nature are working together.
- The most common reason for foliage turning yellow or showing browning on its edges is overwatering. Make sure you allow enough time between watering your plants.