Plant Watering 101: Plant Watering Tips and Tricks
When we experience hot summer temperatures, we have to change the way we are watering. Here are our favorite tips and tricks on how to water plants when the temperatures rise.
Flowering Hanging Baskets and Container Gardens
When it comes to watering hanging baskets and container gardens, they should be checked every day when we are experiencing high summer temperatures. For hanging baskets, the best way to check them is to pick them up to see if they are heavy or light.
- If your baskets are heavy, they most likely have wet soil. They do not need watered.
- If they are Fuchsia or New Guinea Impatiens hanging baskets and they are wilted, check to see if they actually need water. Sometimes these two plants will wilt due to high temperatures, not lack of water. Once we have cooler temperatures, they will bounce back easily.
- If your hanging baskets are lightweight, water them thoroughly until water rushes out the bottom and then tip to drain the saucer.
- After watering, lift the basket it to check the weight again.
- If they are heavy, you did the job and they were watered thoroughly.
- If they aren’t, you need to water them again. Often when the soil is very dry, the water will flush through and not be absorbed by the soil.
- Feel the soil with your fingers to check for moisture. Water thoroughly when your plants need it.
- If it rains, check them anyways to be sure they are moist. Sometimes the plant’s leaves form a canopy over the soil and the rain will not be absorbed.
- If you are watering frequently, the plants will require more nutrients so keep up with your applications of Miracle Gro or Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. This will keep your plants looking fresh and healthy.
It is important observe your plants during warm temperatures to make sure your plants are receiving enough water. It is important to note that even though we may receive hard rain, the water does not always reach the plant’s roots because of water run off.
Deep Root Watering
Be sure to soak the root ball of newly transplanted shrubs, trees, and perennials by putting your hose near the base of the plant and letting it run slowly for a period of time
- Water approximately 15 minutes with your hose on a low pressure or soaking.
- If you have a higher water pressure or a smaller shrub (such as a one gallon pot size) then adjust and water less.
- If you deep root water, then you should only water a few times per week, but not everyday.
More established plants that are wilting can be watered in the same way, but usually one time per week is sufficient. There are a few exceptions. For example: It took Lisa Graf’s hydrangeas three years to get completely rooted in so they didn’t wilt on a daily basis during dry times. She had to water them using her hose at the base of the plant nearly every other day when it was hot and dry.
Tomato Plants and other Vegetable Plants
It is best to keep vegetable plants evenly moist, especially tomatoes. Tomato plants that experience fluctuation in dry and wet conditions are prone to blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is when black legions on the base of tomatoes appears. This usually happens on the first tomatoes to ripen. You can avoid this by keeping plants evenly moist. This allows the plant to absorb calcium and other nutrients efficiently so tomatoes ripen unharmed.
Water your raised garden beds thoroughly and well. A light sprinkle will not penetrate dry soil. If using a hose, water each plant slowly on a medium to light spray.
The more water that is applied to the soil, the more nutrients are flushed away. It is important that you continue to fertilize your vegetable plants. It will help your plants growth and ultimately increase your plant’s production. Organic Garden-Tone and Tomato-Tone are two easy to use fertilizers that will help your plant’s production!
So far we have had enough rain to keep lawns looking lush and green, however, as the season progresses you may need to water. If so, it is best to put down about 1” of water per week in the early morning, if possible. This is better than watering lightly every day because it encourages the roots of the grass plants to grow deeper into the soil where it will not dry out as fast thus keeping your lawn looking green longer. You can also apply a summer application of a slow release fertilizer, however, we recommend that you avoid doing this when temperatures reach 90 degrees F.
It is best for the plants AND for the caretaker to water early in the morning or in the early evening, however, you can water any time of the day that time allows. If you are gardening in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks so you do not become overheated.