Hot weather irrigation tips
During extremely hot weather, dogs resort to panting, people sit in front of their air conditioners and plants increase evapotranspiration. In other words, plants lose water quickly in extreme heat as they try to cool off their leaves and stems by transferring water to their surface. Even if you planted drought-tolerant plants taking special precautions is still necessary when the temperatures rise.
- Water in the morning or early evening
We know…obvious right? The best time to water your garden and plants in the heat is between 6am – 10am on a morning, just before the heat really sets in. This will give your plants plenty of time to drink up, and any moisture left on the leaves will dry off before nightfall. For some people, watering in the morning between those times isn’t possible. That’s OK! The next best time is from 4pm – 7pm. You should try to avoid watering at night as cool and wet conditions can encourage bacteria and pests.
- Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses
To make sure your plants receive consistent moisture throughout the year, the best way to water them is with drip irrigation or soaker hoses. Water on the leaves of your plants is not going to help them during the hot weather. The water on the surface of a plant is the first to evaporate, so you must make sure you are getting water to the base of the plant where it can reach the root system. If you’re still hand-watering everything, consider installing a drip irrigation system to take some of the workload off you in high-season. Our WaterMate automatic irrigation system is perfect!
- Water well, and water deeply
Plants need thorough hydration through a heat-wave – just like people. This is especially true of new plantings that haven’t established their roots, and container plants. A good rule of thumb is to water when the first 2 inches of potting soil feels dry. The smaller or more porous your container, the more you will need to water it.
- Don’t panic water your grass
Grass is really good at dealing with a lack of water! Even if it turns brown it will be able to bounce back when the rain returns later in the year.
- Be consistent
Contrary to what some people think, you cannot make up for a week of missed watering in a single day. Whenever your plants are deprived of water, they suffer! You may be able to revive them multiple times, but sooner or later the damage will be too much. A watering schedule can be really useful here. Luckily, that’s exactly what our WaterMate can help with!
Other helpful tips:
- Container plants may need watering every day during extremely hot weather because they lose more water than plants with their roots in the ground.
- Protect your plants during periods of extreme heat by providing shade. Use a temporary shade-cloth awning, or wrap the trunks of young trees or shrubs with burlap or bamboo mats.
- Add mulch! Adding a layer of mulch to soil surfaces can help to maintain the moisture in the soil.
- Keep a watering log. This can help you keep track of how much you’re watering and for how long so you can track how your plants respond to get the best results. Luckily for you, if you have a Harvst WaterMate – you can keep track of all of this through our web-app!