This hot July will lead into a hot August: that is my prediction. Unlike last year in Ontario, where it rained consistently at least once a week (usually Tuesdays when I wanted to go golfing), this summer hasn’t been quite like that. Sure, we’ve seen more rain than many in the southern States, but not with the consistency that we saw last year.
On the flip side, there are positives: plant diseases will be less prevalent as many are perpetuated by water and humid conditions. The downside is that out vegetable gardens and high maintenance gardens are a little water stressed. There are solutions.
The bleeding hose is an amazing invention that seems counter-intuitive at first. You see, you buy this hose knowing that it will leak. Once set up, you can leave the hose in place for the season so long as it’s reaching all of the areas it needs to. Turning the water on, you’ll notice that the water “bleeds” from the entire hose, delivering water right to the roots where the water is actually needed and not evaporating before it even hits the ground.
With the water staying on the ground and not splashing around, you’re less likely to see diseases cropping up. Bonus!
If you’ve got a sprinkler system set up to water your lawn, be cautious. Watering the lawn for a short time will leave the blades with shallow roots that have never had to work to find water. If you’re going to water your lawn in August (I wouldn’t recommend it, personally), water deeply and less frequently.
For the garden, try the heart-shaped sprinkler that turns the water into a mist – less havoc on the weaker stemmed plants and improves oxygen content in the droplets. If you’re watering this way, do so in the morning so any excess water doesn’t sit on the leaves but evaporates throughout the day.
For the Pots
Your pots will dry out quickly this time of year. You’re likely watering every other day or so. Don’t let your plants go unattended while you go on vacation and don’t avoid going on vacation to keep your plants happy.
Try a slow-release watering bulb or gel-spike waterer. They can be eye-catching pieces you put into your plants that stand-out front of the plant or ones that aren’t so attractive but do the job. Your choice, really. Just make sure you know how long the water will last so you know when to tell the neighbour to pop over for a re-fill.
Above all, don’t water in the evenings and try to keep leaves dry. Enjoy your holidays and the nice weather while it’s here with a smart watering plan.