Help Your Plants Beat The Heat

The summer heat is here and can zap our plants and trees quickly when underwatered.  Newly planted trees/shrubs (in the ground less than a year) will require more frequent watering than more established plants.

Sprinkler systems are great, but don’t give a new plant enough water, you’ll have to give those plants more water during that first year to keep them happy.  So, how do you do that?

1. Use mulch as a top-dress on your flower beds and around your trees to help them retain the moisture in the soil and decreases evaporation.

2. Poke a hole in the side of a bucket or a liter soda bottle, fill it with water and set it near the trunk of a tree.  The water will slowly soak into the soil so the root ball can absorb it instead of running off to the surrounding area.

3. Turn your hose on a slow trickle and place it about 6” from the trunk and let it run 10-30 mins depending on the size of the plant. This is also a deep soaking method which is best for your plants.

4. Install drip irrigation in your flower bed or on your tree. This is a fairly simple DIY project that can be completed quickly without breaking the bank. Emitters drip water at the base of each plant so no water is wasted by spraying the whole flower bed.

5. If hand watering remember to water the soil not the leafy portion of the plant.

6. Avoid watering in the heat of the day to prevent excessive evaporation.

7. Make sure you are watering enough for the water to reach deep into the root ball. A quick splash of water won’t achieve this.

8. Use a moisture meter to determine the soil’s moisture. This will help you know how much water a plant needs.

9. In high heat many plants go into a “survival mode” and use less nutrients so avoid fertilizing heavily.

10. Watch for plants with droopy leaves, crispy leaf edges, changes in leaf color from green to a grayish green. These are signs that the plant needs more water.

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