Hydration Ideas for the Summer Heat
The summer sure has turned up the heat, and we’re all trying to stay cool and hydrated with cold drinks, pool time and a few beach days in between! Nothing is better in the hot summer time than lots and lots of cold water. It keeps us cool, refreshes our skin and stops us from dehydrating or getting heat stroke.
While we’re enjoy a bit of cool H2O, let’s turn our thoughts to our gardens, who also need the same treatment all summer long. Let’s be honest, it can get tiring constantly watering your garden, standing out in the hot sun, just to keep your carefully tended plants from shrivelling up and dying. Vegetable gardens, especially, need a whole lot of hydration to produce beautiful harvests. Enjoy some of our tips and tricks below to help you and your garden survive the heat with less work.
Get that H2O in the Right Spot…
If you’ve ever watched a fireman put out a fire then you know that they generally aim the water at the base of the fire, not the flames. The heat from the hottest part of the flames would evaporate the water before it has a chance to extinguish the fire’s source. The same principal is useful when watering your garden. Always water the base of your plants, not the leaves. Get the ground around the plant soaked, letting the water spread downward into the soil to hydrate for a longer period of time. Water left on the leaves and any exposed top soil will evaporate in the heat of the midday sun, not doing your plants any good.
As well, if your watering your garden during the hottest part of the day, the water evaporates faster! A better strategy is to water your garden during the morning or between 3-4pm. Don’t wait until too late in the evening, or your plants might end up going to bed with wet feet (so uncomfortable!) This could also lead to plant rot, fungus or blight.
Share the Shade
Children are lucky, they can cool off in the shade cast by their much taller parents when out in the sun. This is a great technique for the garden too!
Use taller sun-loving trees, shrubs or plants as sun-blocks for the more tender shorter ones. We’ve got a list of our favourite full-sun loving perennials that would be great at doing this, in our blog post here. In the vegetable garden plan to have the lettuce (and other easy to scorch edible plants) hiding behind corn or taller plants like beans and tomatoes.
Another great tip is to use mulch to cover up your exposed soil. Mulch is nice and thick, and will stop the hot sun from evaporating all the moisture in the soil, letting the plant’s roots enjoy a longer drink. This is especially useful for trees, as they need a ton of water in the summer and often have exposed areas around the trunk.
Don’t Be A Drip
If you’re just planning your garden or want to upgrade next year, then a drip system might be the right answer! Install these hoses under the soil around your plants, and let them drip small amounts of water into the soil all day long. Not only will this help you avoid garden watering duty, but it can actually help you save water! Low-flow watering or micro-irrigation isn’t hard to install and means much more time enjoying your garden from a lounge chair next year!