Who Needs a Drink?
Hot weather = Dry Plants
You may be uncomfortable these hot days and muggy nights, but you can go to the kitchen, turn on the faucet and fill a tall glass with water. Or even crack open a frosty (root) beer. But your plants depend on you - or Mother Nature - to give them the water they need. Some do better than others if you haven't been watering. Here are the plants you need to water.
1. Any plant that you have installed in the last 3 weeks needs water every day in this heat. It takes a while for the roots to get down to a level that won't dry out quickly. Of course sandy soils dry out faster than clay soils (they tend to hold onto water).
This zinnia seedling gets regular watering.
2. Any tree or shrub that you planted this year, or even in the second half of last year. Look for limp leaves. That's a sure sign that a plant is suffering from dehydration. Stick your finger into the soil. If it is not moist 3 inches down, it should be watered.
I planted this catalpa last summer, but give it water this summer, too.
3. Roses. Roses need more water than other flowers in order to be productive. I water roses even in normal times. But this heat? Give 'em a coupla gallons every day or two during this heat. Hopefully you have a moat built around your roses and other shrubs to catch the water you apply. That is especially important on hillsides.
Roses need lots of water to keep blooming.
4. Leafy vegetables. These guys are over 90% water, so they are suffering badly in this heat. I like to water early in the morning or at dusk. My tomatoes love this heat, and look great. I water them nearly every day using a watering wand so that I don't wet the leaves.
These guys are thirsty, but will recover tonight with water.
5. All potted plants need to be watered every day now, unless they have water reservoirs and a wicking system, which really helps.
I water this geranium every day.
6. You! I drink plenty of water, and add some electrolytes to my water bottle once or twice a day. I use something called ElectroMix, which has all the basics.
This stuff helps me!
Common sense and the realities of your schedule will ultimately dictate how much watering we do. If you work a 10 hour day, you may not get a chance to water every day. But when you do, water deeply, and scratch the soil with a tool afterwards to see how far your water has gone. Mulch will help protect the soil, too. But most plants will survive this hot weather - even if you neglect them.
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