Heatwave and Watering

Well, we are about to get hit with the first official heatwave in June, just in time to coincide with the beginning of summer.

Watering is essential during the whole summer but especially during the excessive 90+ degree days. The best time to water is in the morning.  Watering during the heat of the day allows the water to evaporate at the same time the roots are trying to absorb the moisture.  If your time schedule only allows for evening watering, take extra precautions to only water around the root zone.  Wet leaves during high humidity (especially at night) can lead to mildew, fungal problems, and possibly leaf and/or stem rot.

When watering trees, perennials, and annuals planted in the ground, you must soak them enough to allow the water to penetrate deeply into their root system.  Quick sprinkles or short bursts of water will only wet the top layer of the soil.  This will encourage shallow root growth rather than deeper roots.  Healthy, deep, root growth allows plants to withstand dry weather because they are able to access moisture in the lower layers of the soil.  Shallow roots will simply dry out during the hot and dry summer conditions, leading to the demise of your plants.

Keep a close watch on those hanging baskets and container gardens.  Because their root system is contained within a smaller environment, they are very sensitive to overly dry conditions.   If subjected to dry conditions for too long, they can suffer irreparable damage…or as I like to say, “crisp up.”  Soak them thoroughly until the water begins to come out of the bottom of the pot.

Hold off on fertilizing until the heatwave passes.  Plant growth can slow during the excessive temperatures and some fertilizers can cause certain plants to require even more moisture for absorbtion which is not ideal at this time.

Just hang tight.  The heatwave will pass.  Take special care of your plants and they will come through the tough conditions in good shape.