Watering plants or a vegetable garden in hot weather can be a challenge. Many plants are vulnerable during times of extreme heat. It is vital that you water properly to protect the health of your plants. The good news is that a little planning and the right tools will make the job easy.
Understanding How Plants Lose Water in High Heat
Being informed about how your plants absorb and process water will help you understand the principles behind watering in hot weather. Knowledge is a powerful ally when it comes to plant care.
Evapotranspiration is the process by which plants cool themselves with water. It requires that water be transferred to the surface of the plant. The hotter the conditions, the more transfer is required.
You can compare this process to your own need to cool off in the heat of the day. You are able to dial down the air conditioner. Plants have to depend upon the proper utilization of water and other elements.
The short of it is that your plants need more water in extreme heat, but it’s not just the amount of water that matters. Plants also need water to be applied in the most beneficial way.
Plants are amazing organisms. They will do most of the heavy lifting. All you need to do is make sure to provide water at proper intervals and in proper amounts.
Here are the steps to successful watering in hot temperatures.
You may have received conflicting advice on this subject. Let us clarify it once and for all. In hot weather you need to water in the mornings when it is cooler. This will allow more water to reach the root system before it evaporates in the heat.
There may be times when you cannot schedule watering in the morning. In this case, water the plants in the late evening before bed. Don't oversaturate if you need to schedule an evening watering, and be sure to keep the water off of the plants’ leaves.
Contrary to what some people think, you cannot make up for a week of missed watering in a single day. Whenever your plants are deprived of water, they suffer. You may be able to revive them multiple times, but sooner or later the damage will be too much.
You should check the moisture level around the base of your plants. Determine the watering schedule you need to keep in order to maintain the right level of moisture. Watering every day or every two days doesn't matter nearly as much as consistent watering. Make a schedule and stick to it. If you notice that plants look ailing or dry, it is a sign that your schedule needs to be amended.
Soaker Hoses for Deeper Irrigation
Water on the leaves of your plants is not going to help them during hot weather. The water on the surface of a plant is the first to evaporate. You need to make sure you are getting water to the base of the plant where it can reach the root system.
A well-placed soaker hose is an excellent way to make sure the ground beneath your plants is being saturated. Even better, you can turn on a slow soaker hose and let it do the work while you go about your other chores. Soakers are affordable to buy, and they are also better for the environment.
Slow Down the Application of Water
Another benefit of using a soaker hose is that it allows you to slow down the application of water to your plants. Watering too fast creates too much runoff, leaving the soil around your plants poorly irrigated.
There are many excellent low-pressure hose options available today. Slow and steady definitely wins the race when you are going for maximum watering efficiency in hot weather.
Know Your Plants’ Behavior
Smart gardeners and home landscapers are those who can spot changes in a plant's behavior. Specifically, you need to realize when a plant is in need of water and when it has received too much moisture.
Some plants are prone to drooping during the day when there are hot temperatures. This is a type of defense mechanism. Slowing down allows the plant to more efficiently use its resources. It will typically revive in the morning hours when more water can be absorbed.
Other plants only droop when they have not had enough water. When these plants begin to droop, they may be stressed. It is imperative that you provide water immediately.
It is possible to maintain a beautiful garden in hot weather. Indeed, some plants even thrive when the temperatures are extreme. Arm yourself with the right tools and the proper knowledge for successful hot-weather gardening.
For more general watering information, read the following articles: