Summertime watering tips for the garden

We gardeners have worked hard all spring and can finally enjoy the fruits of our labour.

  • Aug. 22, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Lake Blooms Into the Garden

with a Lake Bloomers Garden Club member

By Susanne Thom


Here it is, wonderful August; finally some hot sunny weather. Everything is lush and in full-growth and bloom. We gardeners have worked hard all spring and can finally enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Many of us are busy harvesting while others are just enjoying the colour and beauty of our plants. While the heavy work is now done there are still a few jobs that need attending. One of which is watering.

No plant can grow without water, but too much can be a problem as well. Lawns will need at least an inch of water once a week. If it goes a little brown, don’t worry. It will go green again in the fall when the rains return. Try to make sure to water early in the morning to avoid wasteful evaporation, to allow the foliage to dry (to reduce the possibility of disease setting in), and to stay in compliance with watering restrictions.

If your soil is heavy do not allow pools of water to form on the surface because this inhibits the intake of oxygen and minerals by the roots.

For borders and beds, it is important to water deeply. Watering little and often is wasteful and potentially damaging.

If only the surface layer is moistened then the roots tend to stay near the surface and will be more vulnerable to heat, cold, and drought.

When hand watering, try not to blast the plants or wet the leaves as this may injure the plant. Drip method watering is the ultimate. The exceptions to deep watering are rhododendrons and azaleas since their roots are naturally shallow in the ground.

When watering trees and shrubs make sure to water around their drip line — as this is where the uptake roots will be on the plant — and not against the trunk.

If you have a bog garden then it is extremely important to have consistent moisture, so it is usually best to have some sort of irrigation system installed.

For plants in containers you will need to check and water them just about everyday and sometimes even twice a day. Even if you have put water retentive crystals into the soil you will still have to remember to water regularly.

Water the pots slowly and thoroughly until it runs out of the bottom of the container. If you go away, I do not recommend that you set the pots in buckets of water as this may lead to root rot.

For the vegetable garden installing seep hoses along the rows is the best method. Other than that gentle morning watering will do.

Vegetables will do best with consistent moisture. If you have a water shortage concentrate on watering any newly planted plants and your containers.

Also, there are plants that will thrive in fairly dry conditions, so check your plants’ needs. Until next time, happy watering.