If you are experiencing drought-like conditions in your area, as we are in Waukesha, WI, chances are you are ready for a cool drink! But, so are your plants. I read an article recently in Better Homes and Gardens, that explained when nature stops providing regular rainfall, it's up to you to supplement. Give these timely watering tips a try:
1. Check containers daily. Do the finger test---if the top inch of the soil is dry, it's time to water. Small pots dry out faster than big ones. Pots set in the shade stay moist longer than those in full sun of course.
2. Baby Newbies. First-season plants need more frequent watering than established ones. Water new beds two or three times per week, saturating the soil to a depth of 6 to 12 inches to promote deep root systems.
3. Conserve H20. Running a sprinkler in the cooler hours of early morning reduces evaporation loss. Where practical, set up a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to minimize waste. I also use my ECO rain barrel system to water my plants and beds.
4. Apply mulch. Surround plants with 3 to 4 inches of shredded wood or compost. Mulch reduces evaporation and shades out water hogging weeds. I also love to use my composter and when ready, use the compost in my beds.