Summer has begun! When the thermostat goes up a little tender care for your garden and lawn is recommended. The watering of your lawn, flowers and vegetables is very important during summer months when rain isn’t as plentiful as it is in the Spring. Over or under-watering can pose problems, but when its very hot, over watering is extremely difficult. If your garden is deficient in water, nutrients can’t be absorbed readily from the soil. If there is too much water, healthy plant growth is difficult. Knowing a few things about your garden and proper watering techniques can help you through the summer months and year round.
Garden vegetables can be watered three to four times per week, when there is little or no rain. If your vegetables are in containers they will need water almost daily in the summer months because they dry out faster than the ground. Try to water evenly and thoroughly like the rain. It is best to water in early morning or evening. The sun is not as hot at these times. Try not to water leaves, to help prevent mold disease and sun scorch. When you water your garden, allow time for the water to seep into the ground slowly. If the ground saturates, move away and come back to water again, so the water fully seeps into the soil instead of running off. Remember that your are watering the soil deep into the roots. Not just the surface. It’s important to make sure the water in your garden penetrates deeply, feeding the whole root system. Many garden vegetables have roots that extend beyond 12 inches. Keep this in mind when watering. Mulch spread on the surface of the ground makes a good moisture barrier, that helps keep the water in the ground, while it reduces runoff. If you use a collection cup as a gauge, 1 inch of water should be sufficient for your vegetable garden.
Trees and Shrubs
Due to a intensive root system, the most effective way to water trees and shrubs would be via drip irrigation. This would be accomplished using a drip line or if not available, a hose left on the plant on a slow but constant drip. This technique would be most effective because it minimizes runoff thus wasting very little water. A slower drip over a longer period of time would more efficiently penetrate dry soil as oppose to the same amount of water applied in a much quicker time frame.
Lawns and Annuals
If you are watering lawns and annuals, these roots are within the first 6 inches of soil. It is best to water lawns in the early morning between 6 to 10 am, prior to the sun getting too strong. Avoid watering in the middle of the day. 20-30 minutes of water through a sprinkler twice per week is usually sufficient for lawns in the NY-NJ area. Each watering should be approximately 1/2 inch of water.
Your flower garden on the whole can usually take on 1 inch of rain per week. Make sure you moisten the soil to a depth of six inches for a comprehensive soak. Certain flowers take more or less water according to their needs. Visit us at Wiesner Bros. Nursery if you have any questions on the needs of any particular plant. We are happy to help you.