Gardening: Watering tips and beating the heat

Summer-Remix4By Tiffany Selvey, Master Gardener and mama of 1

When the heat of summer hits, it’s easy to lose track of the garden. Weeds take over because it’s simply too hot to get out there and work! Not only do we feel the stress of the heat on our bodies, plants feel it, too. Here are some tips to beat the heat in the garden this summer:

Water containers frequently:

Water evaporates out of containers much more quickly than it does in the ground, so while you could probably get away with watering the garden twice a week, containers should be watered at least once a day in the summer. To see how frequently you need to water, stick your finger into the top inch of soil. If it’s dry down to an inch, go ahead and water. If it’s still moist below the top layer, hold off. Too much water can cause root rot.

Water in-ground plants infrequently:

To encourage deep, healthy growth of plant roots, water in-ground plants infrequently. These plants will do better with infrequent, deep watering rather than frequent, shallow watering. Check your soil daily using the 1 inch method above.

Combine work and play:

Remember the joy of playing in the sprinkler? There’s no rule that says you still can’t! Turn on that overhead sprinkler at any time of day and take care of your garden business. It’s fun and refreshing, and you might even be able to lure the kids out to play. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Do garden work right after breakfast or after dinner:

The coolest part of the day is early morning, but if you can’t (or won’t) get outside early, wait to do garden chores until after dinner when the sun has gone down. I’ve been known to pull weeds until it’s too dark to see them.

Sweat, but drink plenty of water:

A lot of us don’t like to sweat, but it’s good for you so I would encourage you to embrace the sweat. It’s a great way to rid the body of toxins. Just be sure to drink plenty of water before and after working.

It’s easy to feel restricted by the weather. I certainly miss working outside in the middle of the afternoon like I did in spring, but there is also something pretty neat about working in the garden after dinner when the fireflies begin their show. Once the work is done, it’s nice to sit back with a big glass of lemon water and watch the night creep in.

Tiffany Selvey, Master GardenerTiffany Selvey is a Master Gardener who writes about her passion for growing, cooking, and living naturally When she’s not elbow deep in soil, she enjoys raising a very active son, laughing with her husband, and wrangling their pets. Follow Tiffany’s gardening adventures on facebook and on twitter.