Tips for Watering in the Summer Months

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SUMMER MONTHS IN the garden are known for either too much rain or not enough. Because July’s weather is very humid and hot with several hours of sunlight, how you water is essential. 

When: Early morning is best, between 5 am and 8 am. Water remaining on foliage has time to dry before the heat of the day. Early-hour watering helps maintain soil hydration when temperatures rise. Evening irrigation is better than none at all, so if you must, do so no later than 6-7 pm since moist leaves at night invite disease. Once in a while is acceptable, but try to keep routine watering during morning hours.

How: Slow and steady. Large blasts of water from a high-powered nozzle may seem faster but only results in washing away soil and ineffectively providing water to the roots, where it’s needed most.  A small stream of water from a garden hose with no nozzle, a soaker hose or drip irrigation yields better absorption. A depth of 4-6 inches is a good guide for maintaining moist soil conditions. Apply water under the foliage. Sprinklers of every variety and configuration are available but are better suited for irrigating lawns or a child’s activity. In high heat and sun, water from sprinklers tends to evaporate before reaching deep into the soil, thus causing roots to remain shallow. Also, sprinklers tend to leave too much water on foliage which is an ideal environment for disease and could interfere with pollination. 

Container and raised beds will typically need more frequent waterings than in-ground plants. Be sure to allow water to pass through the container a bit for a proper soak.

Thorough weekly watering grows deeper roots and stronger plants. Happy Growing!

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