You need to water plants often during summer heat, because they can’t pick up and remove themselves from the oppressive summer sun as you can. Plants can survive the summer heat if they are properly hydrated. Another important factor to assuring they are properly hydrated is to keep the plants well mulched. In his article Rod Moesel talks about how important it is to mulch and water plants often during summer heat.
Water and mulching are the biggest factors or the secrets to summer gardening success in Oklahoma. Water is the most important element — the lifeblood for all living things — and the need is greatest in the summertime, whether it be for humans, plants or animals. . . Every time a plant gets heavily stressed with too little or too much water or some other extreme stress, it “stunts” the plant a little or interferes with its natural growth momentum even if it is not enough to kill or even heavily damage the plant. Our goal is to provide a happy medium rather than extremes for our plants.
Rod says in his article that there are some plants that seem to thrive in extreme conditions. Good for them. I know that there are also some people who delight in pushing themselves and dare the elements. For me, though, I’d rather not toast myself out in the sun, whether I’m in the garden or at the beach. I make sure to hydrate and protect myself from the rays of the sun. I would assume that most plants are the same, and would prefer not to be in extreme heat. Rod has some ideas on how we can moderate the heat to which our plants are exposed.
When it is hot and dry your plants will appreciate cool refreshing water no matter how you get it to them, by overhead sprinkler, by hand watering or by soaker hose. They will love drip irrigation, refined by Israelis and South Africans to deliver small but steady drips of water that won’t wash the soil away, knock down the plant or just run off the top of the ground. The beauty of a good drip irrigation system is that virtually all the water gets to the plants’ root system, with little runoff or evaporation. That is how you can grow even better and happier vegetable gardens, fruit trees, berries or pretty flowers with 25 to 50 percent of normal water use.
Rod also talks about the value of mulching your plants. A one to three inch layer of mulch improves drainage, aeration and microbial activity in the soil, as well as reduces the soil temperature itself. You can read Rod’s suggestions about mulching and additional information about watering in his article, which you can read by clicking here or on the link below. So be sure to water plants often during the summer, particularly when the temperature rises, and mulch to both conserve that water and to keep your plants cool.