The blazing summer heat can wreak havoc on our gardens and plants. And since we’ve hit the triple digits several times this past month, the need to understand proper watering techniques is even more critical.
Consistent, deep watering
Have you ever noticed your fruit or vegetables with cracks or splits in their skin? Sudden increase in watering after long dry spells forces the fruit to take in too much water too quickly causing it to expand and crack. Instead, water 2-3 days a week, concentrating at the center and base of the plant. Allow the water to soak in deep, deep, deep into the soil. This encourages the roots to grow deeper and farther from the drying effects of the sun.
In the summer months, turn your sprinkler timer back 1 or 2 hours so watering starts at dawn. If you don’t have an automatic system, just water your plants in the evening. Watering when the temperature is at its coolest prevents evaporation and encourages the plant to take in the most water.
Also try adding an organic mulch like finely ground bark or leaves on the ground around your plants and vegetables. Many home improvement stores carry a wide variety to choose from. Mulch acts as a natural barrier between the sun and soil, helping you use less water, keep the soil moist longer and reduce evaporation.
Add a diaper to your potting soil
Yes, thats right a diaper. Cut open a clean diaper and dump the absorbent material into a bowl and add water. Mix it until it thickens into a gel. Depending on the type used, it can be more bead-like. Mix 50/50 parts of the gel mixture with potting soil and voila! you’re ready to plant. The material inside is known as hydrogels, which are essentially polymers, that retain a lot of water giving your potting soil an extra boost in retaining moisture. It’s a good idea to consider using an all natural diaper to avoid any toxins leaking into your solid. This method is also best implemented for potted plants and can similarly be accomplished (if the thought of using a diaper is odd) using hydra crystals which can be purchased at many garden shops. Happy gardening!