Brought to you by: Dave Townsend, Author of “Growing the Home Garden” Blog
Well Spring Hill gardeners, it certainly doesn’t look like relief from the heat and dryness is on its way any time soon. Too much sun and not enough rain aren’t a good combination for our backyard gardens, or the front yard gardens for that matter. It’s extremely frustrating but there are a few things you can do in this heat to keep your garden productive. Let’s take a look at how to save your summer garden from the drought.
First make sure your garden is mulched in some way. Grass clippings (if you still have grass that is), straw, pine needles, and even hardwood mulch can all be used to prevent moisture from leaving the soil. Mulch also keeps the soil temperature down which is extremely important for productive plants.
Use soaker hoses under the mulch to put the water on the roots. The roots are where the plants soak up nutrients and water so it just makes sense to put the water where it needs to be to begin with! Putting the hose under the mulch also sends the water in a downward direction without the hot sun evaporating the moisture as it comes out.
Water in the evening or in the morning. Watering in the evening will keep the water in the soil throughout the nighttime hours and will give your plants more time to build up their water supply! Morning watering does the same thing and is better if you do end up overhead watering. The plant leaves will dry out in the morning which will prevent fungal diseases from taking hold.
Water completely, thoroughly, and deeply! Make sure the whole root system gets watered to maximize the plant’s uptake potential. Watering deeply sends extra water down into the soil where it becomes a short term reserve for the plant. If you water deep enough then you should be able to easily alternate your watering days to fit any local water regulations.
Plant drought tolerant native plants. Native plants have been through this before and have developed a genetic tolerance to our Tennessee summers. Take note of what is doing well without much help from you, then plant more of these kind of plants!
Prioritize your garden by watering and saving the plants that are most important for you and your time. It’s difficult and frustrating but eventually the weather will change. For now we just have to provide some garden life support!
Dave Townsend is a Tennessee Master Gardener and author of the blog Growing The Home Garden (http://www.growingthehomegarden.com) where he writes about vegetable gardening, plant propagation, and anything else gardening related under the sun! Dave lives in Spring Hill with his wife and three children.
Category: Dave Townsend-Home Gardening