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Tips for Watering Your Summer Garden

Fire up that garden hose because it’s summertime, and we’re here to teach you how to water your garden while combating the harsh summer heat. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that summer brings rising temperatures that could potentially dry out your summer vegetables and flowers.

Check out our tips on watering your garden to learn how to keep your plants happy and healthy!

How do I water my summer garden?

Encourage deep root growth by always watering the root of your plants. Plants benefit much more from slow, deep watering that is directed to the base of the plant at the root. This ensures that the roots’ growth is aimed away from the warm soil surface where water evaporation is more likely to occur. If you have moist soil 5-6 inches below the surface, you are doing your summer garden a service. 

Pro tip: Water your garden with Lawnifi® Grow to enhance root growth. Lawnifi Grow is a liquid fertilizer filled with nano-sized nutrients that promote root growth via highly available phosphorus, potassium and carbon. Grow benefits rooting, plant strength and soil quality. The Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box is also an excellent nutrient package designed to help plants fight off the stressful heat of summer. Check both fertilizers below.

It is also crucial to avoid wetting the leaves of your plants as well as the outside of fruits or veggies. Wet leaves, especially in warmer temperatures, encourage the growth of fungi, insects, and other harmful diseases. When watering your garden, make sure to give your leaves enough time to dry off before it gets too hot. Watering wands do a great job directing water right to the root and helping avoid wetting foliage.

Hose watering eggplant in summer garden
What time of day should I water my garden?

Early morning, between 5-10 a.m., is the ideal window for watering because it optimizes moisture capacity. This gives the water plenty of time to soak into the soil throughout the day and minimizes the risk of evaporation from rising afternoon temperatures. Sunlight is weaker, roots are cooler and early watering gives leaves enough time to dry off if they have water on them.

Watering in the early afternoon is your second option. Just make sure there is enough time for the leaves to dry out before the sun goes down. Never water in the middle of the day because this will increase your risk of the water evaporating and drying out your soil. 

Is there anything I can do to conserve the soil moisture?

You want to make sure all your hard work doesn’t go to waste! To ensure that your soil continues to hold its moisture throughout the day, you can cover your already watered, moist soil with a thin layer (2-3 inches) of organic mulch or composted material. This could be anything from shredded bark to pine needles to chopped-up leaves. By doing this, you protect your plants from evaporation, minimize runoff and cool off the plant roots. 

Flowers in summer garden
How often should I be watering my summer garden?

Ideally, you want to water your garden two-to-three times a week, ensuring that it’s given 1 inch of water per week, whether that’s from a rain event or supplemental water. Rain gauges are a useful tool in giving you an estimate of how much more you should water your plants need in a given week. Container gardens require more frequent watering because pots hold heat, causing summer crops to dry out faster than when in the ground.

Pay special attention to those summer vegetable plants because they may need more watering than the rest of your garden. Veggies need constant watering in order to produce, otherwise, dry rot and cracked skin can occur.  

How do I know if my garden needs to be watered or not? 

There is such a thing as too much! Overwatering your garden can clog up the soil and block the roots from getting the oxygen it needs to drink up the water. Even if the topsoil feels dry, there still could be a sufficient amount of moisture below. Poke your finger a few inches below the surface of the soil to feel if the root zone is moist or not.

You can also use a Soil Moisture Meter to get a numerical measurement of your soil’s moisture. Look out for yellow or brown leaves because these are signs of overwatering. Plants with large leaves, such as squash, cucumbers, and melons signal when your summer garden is dry and in need of watering. Plants with large leaves lose moisture much faster than those with small leaves, therefore these plants will be the first to wilt. 

Hand touching soil on summer garden

Keeping your garden fresh and blooming in the summer can be easy as long as you follow these tips and use the right watering tactics! If you want to be an expert on summer landscaping maintenance make sure to check out our article on How to Water Your Lawn in the Summer – and you’ll have the best-looking front lawn in your neighborhood!

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