The heat wave this week has everything, including plants, wilting. Gardeners can duck indoors to have a drink and get out of the scorching sun, but plants remain outside sizzling and wilting. By following a few guidelines you can keep your plants well watered and growing well, and keep your costs down. Plus it’s a step towards conserving our water resources and improving our soil.
- Water plants first thing in the morning while it still cool.
You lose less water to evaporation; the plants have water for the rest of the day, and water on leaves dry out (reducing the chance for developing disease).
- Don’t use sprinkler if it’s windy.
Very little water soaks into the soil.
- Water plants deeply, at least 2 ½ cm (1 inch).
Sprinkling water encourages shallow roots, and you will use more water in the long run.
Use at least 5 cm (2 inches) of mulch. With mulching you cut your water use by half, and you don’t have to water as often.
Word of warning: don’t use more than 7.5 cm (3 inches). Deep mulch encourages roots to grow into the mulch. If the mulch clumps, it may prevent water and air reaching the plant’s roots.