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Watering during dry spells

Yes, it is very dry out there and yes, your plants need water, but so many folks will lose plants because of not knowing how best to water.  Over-watering, watering at the wrong time of day (which can cause plant diseases) and not watering thoroughly are all poor watering practices.  Watering is an art, and when done well, will help plants thrive and at the same time will preserve this precious resource.

If you have a choice, always water in the early morning as the temperature is on the rise.

When you water, make sure that you water thoroughly and that the water penetrates deep into the soil so the moisture goes down to the roots where it is needed.  Thorough watering will encourage roots to grow deep and be less dependent on frequent watering.

Lawns, too, only need to be watered once a week during hot weather, but again, make sure you let the water penetrate down to the roots so they grow deep and the grass becomes more self-sufficient.

Vegetable gardens are the most challenging in the heat.  If you always water in the morning and water only the root zones of all your plants, this will go a long ways to prevent diseases like mildew, botrytis and even blight on potatoes and tomatoes.

Planters and baskets offer a different challenge, especially when it’s so hot.  Water them thoroughly in the morning so they’re less stressed during the day.  But before you water them again, feel the weight of the basket and make sure it feels light.  If it feels heavy, it is already wet enough, and you should wait until it dries out before watering again.

When you water by using a water breaker with at least 400-1000 holes at the end of your hose for the most efficient distribution of water into the soil, and always use a wand so you are not constantly having to bend over.   Focus on watering the root systems and try to water in the morning for the most resourceful use of water.  Soaker hoses and drip systems are the most effective way to save you time and to use less water.

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