July flew by in a beautiful buzz, and August is coming in hot (quite literally). With warmer temperatures and longer sun exposure, your plants are thirsty! Now is the time to introduce water wise techniques in your urban slice of earth.
Water is a precious resource and absolutely vital for keeping your vegetable garden happy. Wise watering techniques conserve water, save money, produce bigger yields and promote healthy plant growth. Here are five general guidelines to keep your garden thriving during these warmer months:
Healthy Soil: Establish retentive soil that slowly releases water to the plants. A top layer of mulch will also reduce the amount of water and weeding needed.
Timing: Water before 10AM. This will lead to less evaporation and more water absorbed by the plants. Leafy greens love an evening watering to cool down their soil and prevent plants from bolting.
Water Slowly: Water slowly, deeply, and less frequently. This allows plants to develop large root systems. Focus your watering into the soil, not onto the plant.
Be Consistent: Group plants by their watering needs. This is a great way to make watering easier from the get-go. Each vegetable or annual flower plant should receive about 1-2 gallons of water per week, spreading it out so you water the same amount every couple of days.
Equipment: A leaky hose is the quickest way to waste water. Be sure your hoses and faucet are in good working order. Simple dial timers and drip irrigation are great for very direct and accurate watering. Rain barrels are also a great way to water the natural way.
Next, we’ll talk about Xeriscaping! This is the use of drought tolerant, often native plants in your landscape. (Don’t picture a desert, we promise there are colors and flowers involved!)