The Growers Guide - Watering in dry weather

The Growers Guide - Watering in dry weather

During warm and drought weather, it can be hard to ensure plants are getting the water they need to survive. Read our guide on watering in dry weather below.

Drought (the definition for a gardener): drought is considered to occur in a garden when the soil moisture in the plant root zone is exhausted, and the plants wilt—a continuous period of 15 days when there has been no measurable rain.

  •  In hot weather, water in the cool of the early morning, in the evening, the soil and the atmosphere will still be very warm and applied water will quickly evaporate.
  •  Frequent light watering does not penetrate deep into the soil. Soak the soil to a good depth from time to time. This will encourage deeper rooting and the tapping of water at lower levels.
  •  After a heavy watering, apply a mulch around the plant or tree, leaving 4-6 inches around the main stem to prevent fungal attacks. Remember that fine water-absorbing roots are not under the trunk, but towards the edge of the plant canopy.
  •  If water is not available, it has been traditional to hoe the surface soil, but not deeply as you may be cutting surface roots. A crumbly, hoed surface will prevent transpiration from lower depths and facilitate the rapid absorption of rain, or water, which is applied.
  • When watering with a hose, use a rose in the end so that there is no solid water stream, as this would contribute to water run-off and erosion.
  •  There are now many good water sprinklers on the market that have a wide range of spray patterns for efficient watering in a round or rectangular pattern. A sprinkler in conjunction with a water timer in the hose line will make the whole process so much easier.
  •  Seep-hoses are particularly useful as they can be wound amongst plants that are susceptible to drought and left down all year.
  •  Whenever possible, use rainwater (collected in a rainwater butt) for watering lime hating plants, such as rhododendrons, camellias, etc.
  •  It’s worth noting that half an inch of rain equals approx. 13,600 galls/acre or 2.8 gall/sq.
  •  In hot weather, water container pots once a day.
  •  Remember, waterlogging can be as bad as drought!

Posted 3rd Jun 4:06pm

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