Official TEG Poll: Top Tips for Watering Plants in Summer

Which of these tips do you think is the most effective for keeping your plants healthy and hydrated?

  • Water early in the morning

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Use mulch to retain soil moisture

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Water deeply and less frequently

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Install a drip irrigation system

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Group plants with similar water needs

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Use a soaker hose

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Check soil moisture before watering

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Shade plants during peak sun hours

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Use self-watering containers

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

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Summer brings intense heat that can stress your plants, making proper watering techniques essential for their survival. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, knowing the best ways to keep your plants hydrated can make all the difference. Share your go-to tip for watering plants during the scorching summer months and help fellow gardeners beat the heat!

Which of these tips do you find the most effective for keeping your plants healthy and happy in the summer sun?


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digitS'

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The water needs of garden plants are dependent on weather conditions, soil types, the plants' root systems, and stages of growth, etc. Gardening experience helps but some Rules of Thumb are also possible. Here is a short pdf worksheet from the University of California that can help for guidance LINK.

Note that the suggestion is to provide 1 inch of water to the garden, each week. One inch is 0.623 gallons for each square foot.

Let's say that you have a garden between 800 and 1000 square feet. That might be thought of as a standard size, family garden. Applying water can be done in several ways. Let's also say that you decided to use a hose and simply stand on the side and throw water over the garden.

okay. Instead of throwing water on an actual 800+ sqft garden, you are filling 55 gallon barrels. Do you have the time and are you interested in standing and filling 10 or 12 barrels with your hose? That would be the time requirement suggested by the U of C for 1 inch of water.

I imagine that drip lines are very efficient however, one really needs to know the emission rate and to do the math for the time required. I grew up on a farm that was level ground. The geologists say that the valley where the farm was located had been a lake during prehistoric times. We flood irrigated and that worked but was probably very inefficient. Much of the irrigated farmland where I now live is watered by sprinkler systems. That is what I use for the garden.

Here's some simple math — measure the water and time required to put down 1 inch with your sprinkler. I have used cake pans. Set them at several distances from the sprinklers and determine the average amount and time required. Impulse sprinklers can be adjusted to throw water at different distances at the same pressure and volume. Come to some understanding of what the space will need for sprinkler setting and time each week.

The U of California folks suggest daily watering during the heat of Summer. Really, and except for potted, new seedlings and transplants, I don't. Dividing up your time over 7 days ... well, watering deeply encourages roots to reach into that depth. Generally, I try for that and, for at least several days, the plants are on their own.

Oh, and keep track of rainfall. It's a simple matter to consult the Weather Service webpages after a storm. Rain is more efficient than a sprinkler :).

Steve
🙃 edut:: irritated = irrigated
 
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Alasgun

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Since drip irrigation was not in the survey i’ll mention it here. A lot of the “tips” offered are relevant but how you actually deliver the water is hand’s down the most time consuming part of gardening for me and with some simple tools it can become the easiest part of gardening. I tell people the hose timers i use are completely trouble free, some i’m running for their 5th year! My biggest worry is forgetting them in the fall once frost season returns. Those in the greenhouse are a little more sophisticated but not much! All the drip tube’s and emitters are completely interchangeable and easy to set up.

All the main beds are the same dimension so it was easy to make differing manifolds for the beds. Each year i plug in a manifold for what ever’s being grown in that bed and open the valve. At the timer i have complete control of the time, amount, frequency etc.

Do some googling and learn how much water any sprinkler uses per hr and let that soak in, several of my timers are on stuff requiring 3-8 min run time and deliver water precisely where i want it. And you don't have to drag sprinklers around.

From a cost stand point it’s not too steep if you buy properly. Learn a little about all this before asking some salesman in a box store “what you really need” and you’ll be fine.

*on edit; and then I did find drip irrigation on the survey!
 
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