Is your Garden Thirsty?
Summer is the peak growing time for gardens. However, sunshine and heat can make it tricky for your plants to stay hydrated. This summer, avoid wilted and dying plants by creating an environment that will help you use water more efficiently.
Start with the Soil
Plants get all their nutrient needs, including their water, from where they grow. The secret to a healthy, hydrated garden begins with the soil. Over time, the nutrients and the moisture conserving properties of your garden are absorbed by your plants. To avoid this challenge, regularly replenish your garden with triple mix and/or compost. However, if you have sandy soil, your garden may need a little more help. This is because the pore size of sandy soil is extremely large, so water simply seeps away.
Adding in soil amendments like peat moss, compost, and coconut husk will help lock in the moisture in the soil. For best results, mix the amendments at least 10 centimeters into your soil bed so that the water-retaining properties get right to the roots.
Make Mulch a Priority
Adding mulch to your garden will improve its overall health by helping keep moisture in and the weeds out. Mulch provides shade for the roots, which dramatically reduces the frequency that you need to water. This coverage also helps keeps weeds out of your garden so that the water gets to your plants not some random dandelion.
But that’s not all; during heavy periods of rain, that layer of mulch will reduce water run-off helping hold the water in the soil so that your plants can access it. As a final note, mulch degrades which will add in additional moisture-retaining properties to your soil.
Get Down to the Roots
One of the biggest challenges with keeping plants hydrated is the way that they are watered. To keep your plants well hydrated, water slowly and at the soil level so that the moisture seeps into the lower levels where the roots are growing.
This method will eventually reduce the frequency that you water. This is because this method of watering trains the plant to grow deeper, stronger roots that will gather water efficiently.
These techniques will help reduce the frequency that your garden will need to be watered. However, the summer heat does take a toll and your garden will require regular watering to thrive. Drip irrigation and sprinkler systems can help reduce the stress and strain from watering by placing your plants on a regular schedule.
Watering isn’t about just getting the soil wet. It’s about understanding how plants take in their water and finding ways to get that hydration right to the roots. These simple shifts to your landscape will help you maintain a happy, well-hydrated summer garden. Happy watering!