Step outside and the heat and humidity of summer will impact you to such a degree that you might have to stop and catch your breath. Your lawn and outdoor plants are also feeling that weight. Watch for wilting or dull color, then check the soil often for dryness. It is important to properly and adequately water your landscape during these extreme summer conditions.
Plants are about 90% water which performs four major functions: structure, food and nutrient transportation, food production and cooling. Getting water to plants may not be as straightforward as the use of water.
First, avoid watering plants in direct sun when evaporation is the greatest. It is also not a good idea to water late in the evening because plant leaves or grass will stay moist and invite many types of pests and diseases into your gardens. Recommended watering times are very early in the morning or in the late afternoon, giving the water a chance to seep into the soil and allowing the plant to dry somewhat before the night arrives.
Another watering question is “how much?”. That answer depends on the dryness of the soil, how often it’s watered and how efficiently a plant uses water. In general, a long, slower soaking of the ground is best. Allow the water to sink into the ground 4 to 6 inches. If watering pots, allow all the soil to absorb the water, not just the top and sides. Water is not always the answer, but many times it is.
More information can be found at www.lsuagcenter.com.