Gardening: Saving Water in the Summer

Cary, NC – We are in the middle of July and the heat is getting strong. So when watering your lawn and plants, here are some tips on the best ways to use water for your garden.

How to Properly Water

First of all, you need to know the best way to keep your plants watered and cared for with water. Getting water on the flowers, leaves and other foliage will do nothing. You need to make sure the base of the plant is watered to get at its roots. The stretch of the roots are typically around twice the diameter of the canopy of the plant.

Only get enough water to make sure the soil is lightly moist. If you see water beginning to pool or collect on the ground, stop and wait for it to soak into the earth. Also, check the plant tag with anything you buy because that will give you a guide to its needs for water, as well as pH and sunlight. Keep in mind that your lawn, perennial plants and shrubs need one inch of water a week.

If you are using mulch in your garden, this can be a good way to hold moisture in and cool off your plants. However, you need to make sure you break up the mulch on a regular basis so it does not crust up and start keeping water out.

Watering Strategically

There are ways to make sure your water goes a long way and avoid pitfalls other gardeners may inadvertently fall into. For starters, find attachments for your hose that use your water more efficiently. This could be a sprinkler wand or a soaker hose. Also, water in the mornings so more of it soaks into the ground before evaporating in the heat. Do not try this same trick at night because in the darkness, your plants could be susceptible to fungus forming.

Make sure you keep your hose stored in the shade so it does not make your water hot when it comes out. This can stress your plants and cause damage to them.

And if water is scarce but you care about your lawn’s appearance enough, try just watering the front. This is the part most people will see and you can keep that looking nice and healthy while the rest has to endure the Summer heat.

Story by staff reports. Photos by Denise Krebs and Hal Goodtree. Gardening content on CaryCitizen is sponsored by Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Road in Cary.

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