Watering Plants in Summer
As you know, the summers in Louisville, KY can get uncomfortably hot at times. While that’s unpleasant for a lot of people, we can also escape into the respite of indoor air conditioning. Of course, plants don’t have that luxury! Plants have to endure the sun beating down on even the hottest days—and that can take a toll.
Though many landscape plants love the heat and even require full sun (a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight), during periods of intense heat, the sun can damage or even kill plants. That’s why, in the heat of summer, proper watering becomes more crucial than ever.
Here are a few tips to set you up for success.
On the hottest days, the sun is going to evaporate water quickly. That means if you water plants in the mid-morning or the afternoon, the water may never make it to your plants’ roots before it gets sucked up by the sun. Instead, water before 9 AM in the summer, giving the water plenty of time to percolate to the subsurface level before evaporation takes place.
You also want to make sure that you are supplying your plants with ample water. Watering deeply will help get the water to the plant roots where it is needed most. On the flip side, watering shallowly can cause some harm as it will encourage your plants’ roots to grow near the soil surface where they will dry out quickly.
You should also make sure that you’re watering the soil—not the flowers or plant leaves. After all, it’s the roots that need watering. Wetting plant leaves just creates an environment prone to disease growth.
A lot of people tend to think that their plants get more water from Mother Nature than they actually do—and that can impact how much they water on their own. To get a better sense of how much water your plants are actually receiving, you can invest in a rain gauge, a simple tool to measure rainfall.
Of course, for a quick and cheap solution, you could also just stick a tin can in the yard and measure that way.
A general rule of thumb for plant care is that they need roughly one inch of rain per week. That needs to be a deep, soaking rain. A light rain is probably not going to penetrate the soil before evaporation starts to occur. Be sure to supplement rainfall with hand watering as needed.
Protect Plants with Mulch
A way to ensure that your plant beds are retaining moisture—and that your plants’ vulnerable roots are shielded from the hot and drying sun—is to utilize mulch. Adding mulch to your plant beds will ultimately mean less watering and overall healthier roots.
It’s one of the best ways to set your plant beds up for success. Of course, not all mulches are created equally.
At Nature’s Mulch, we can help set you up with the best mulch to give you optimal results. We can also help answer your questions about your plant beds’ and their potential needs. We commend you for doing your research and trying to learn more about your plants and how to support them which is why we’re here to support you! Let us be your expert guides in creating the landscape you desire.