Graf Growers

How to water plants when it’s hot out

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Relax in a chair this summer

We have been experiencing high summer temperatures this week and that changes the way we water. Here are our favorite tips and tricks on how to water plants when it is hot out!

Flowering Hanging Baskets and Container Gardens

Hanging baskets and container gardens should be checked every day when we are experiencing high summer temperatures. For hanging baskets, the best way to check them is to pick them up to see if they are heavy or light.

Hanging Baskets
  • If your baskets are heavy, they most likely have wet soil. They do not need watered.
    • If they are Fuchsia or New Guinea Impatien hanging baskets and they are wilted, check to see if they actually need water. Sometimes these two plants will wilt due to high temperatures, not lack of water. Once we have cooler temperatures, they will bounce back easily and nicely.
  • If your hanging baskets are lightweight, water them thoroughly until water rushes out the bottom and then tip to drain the saucer.
    • After watering, lift the basket it to check the weight again.
      • If they are heavy, you did the job and they were watered thoroughly.
      • If they aren’t, you need to water them again. Often when the soil is very dry, the water will flush through and will not be absorbed by the soil.
Container Gardens
  • Feel the soil with your fingers to check for moisture. Water thoroughly when your plants need it.
    • If it rains, check them anyways to be sure they are moist. Sometimes the plant’s leaves form a canopy over the soil and the rain will not be absorbed.
  • If you are watering frequently, the plants will require more nutrients so keep up with your applications of Miracle Gro or Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. This will keep your plants looking fresh and healthy.
Ivy Geranium Hanging Basket
Ivy Geranium Hanging Basket

Landscape Plants

Be sure to soak the root ball of newly transplanted shrubs, trees, and perennials by putting your hose near the base of the plant and letting it run slowly for a period of time (approx. 15 minutes, but it depends on water pressure and type of plant.) This is called Deep Root Watering. If you do this, then you should only have to water a few times per week, but not every day. More established plants that are wilting can be watered in the same way, but usually one time per week is sufficient. There are a few exceptions. For example: It took my hydrangeas three years to get completely rooted in so they didn’t wilt on a daily basis during dry times. I had to water them using my hose at the base of the plant nearly every other day when it was hot and dry. So observe your plants and make adjustments as needed.

Perennial Garden
Perennial Gardening

Tomato Plants and other Vegetable Plants

It is best to keep vegetable plants evenly moist, especially tomatoes. Tomato plants that experience a great fluctuation in dry and wet conditions are prone to blossom end rot. Blossom end rot is when black legions on the base of tomatoes appears. This usually happens on the first tomatoes to ripen. You can avoid this by keeping plants evenly moist. This allows the plant to absorb calcium and other nutrients efficiently so tomatoes ripen unharmed.

Lawns

So far we have had enough rain to keep lawns looking lush and green, however, as the season progresses you may need to water. If so, it is best to put down about 1” of water per week in the early morning, if possible. This is better than watering lightly every day because it encourages the roots of the grass plants to grow deeper into the soil where it will not dry out as fast thus keeping your lawn looking green longer číst zde. You can also apply a summer application of a slow release fertilizer, however, we recommend that you avoid doing this when temperatures reach 90 degrees F.

Relaxing Summer Patio
Relaxing Summer Patio

The Gardener

It is best for the plants AND for the caretaker to water early in the morning or in the early evening, however, you can water any time of the day that time allows. If you are gardening in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated and take frequent breaks so you do not become overheated.

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