Summer is in full swing. Most of the planting of gardens and vegetable gardens is done, but the troubles are not lessened because summer is the hottest season of the year.
Temperature scales often exceed 86°F (30°C), making it impossible for our plants to grow and develop. So what can we do to help them cope with this heat?
The tips we share in this article are useful for suburban and urban dwellers alike. Our houseplants also struggle at this time of year.
GENERAL RULES FOR WATERING IN HOT WEATHER
First of all, in such weather, our plants need a lot of watering on a regular basis. It is no secret that many vegetables consist mainly of water.
In hot weather, the foliage evaporates a lot of water and the plants get dehydrated. And if they do, they can’t produce quality fruit.
In addition, in order to survive, plants need to take nutrients from the soil, and nutrients are supplied by water. Without water – without nutrients, and therefore without quality watering – plants will wilt and wither.
The correct watering conditions for all plants in hot weather are:
- Do not water with cold water in hot weather, only in the sun. Plant roots cannot absorb cold water from the well and deliver it to the plant.
- It is better to water less frequently, but with more water. With surface watering, the roots begin to develop at the top (closer to the water), which causes them to be damaged when the soil becomes too hot or loose.
- Watering can be done early before the hot sun, which can leave burns on the leaves, or in the evening after 17:00-18:00. Watering too late (overnight) can trigger the development of fungal diseases because the water on the leaves does not have time to dry before it gets dark and the air temperature drops.
- It is important to take into account the peculiarities of each plant’s root development, its depth. For example, tomatoes have roots down to 3.3 feet (1 meter), so it is best to water under the roots once a week, but to make the soil soak more deeply. To consume water wisely, trench 4-5inch (10-12 cm) from the roots. Cucumbers, on the other hand, need to be watered more than once every 3 days in high temperatures. Its root development depth is no more than 12inch (30cm), so it is pointless to water cucumbers too deeply.
- The soil should be loosened after each watering to ensure the saturation of oxygen in the soil.
- The peculiarities of the soil on the plot must be taken into account. If the soil is sandy and loamy, water at least twice a week in hot weather. After each watering, make sure to loosen the soil. And if the soil is heavy, watering once a week is sufficient, but do not stop loosening the soil 1 time in 3-4 days.
Important: To determine if the soil is dry, squeeze it with your fist. If it has formed lumps, the soil is still saturated with water, if it has crumbled, you can start watering.
MULCH WILL HELP TO KEEP MOISTURE FOR LONGER
Mulching the soil will preserve moisture for a longer period of time at the roots of the plant. For this purpose, a protective layer of organic or synthetic material should be placed next to the trunk of the tree.
It will protect the soil from drying out, prevent the growth of weeds and take away extra moisture from cultivated plants. Organic mulch can also provide nutrients for bugs and plants through decomposition.
You can mulch the soil with store-bought products or with inexpensive natural materials: nutshells, pine bark, pine needles, weeds, seed hulls, leaves, straw, cones, wood chips, etc.
DO-IT-YOURSELF DRIP IRRIGATION IN THE GARDEN
To keep the soil steadily saturated with water, many gardeners use unsophisticated devices made of plastic bottles and old hoses to provide a constant flow of water to the land. This is an automatic drip irrigation system, commonly known as “lazy” watering.
Wick irrigation method in the garden
It is necessary to dig any container near the plant: a bucket, a pail, a five-liter bottle, and fill it with water. Dip it in a strip of cloth, the width of which depends on the intensity of the watering.
Bury the cloth to a small depth near the roots. The container should be closed to prevent the water from evaporating. The water will flow through the cloth to the ground and nourish the roots of the plant.
Plastic bottle drip irrigation
You can pierce plastic bottles with an awl on the side. Dig them next to the plant so that all the punctures are in the ground and fill the container with water (best done when you are ready to plant so as not to accidentally damage the root system later).
Through the side holes, the water will seep into the soil, moistening it as needed. The only thing left to do is to fill up the bottle with water.
Important: Be sure to seal the bottle with a stopper, otherwise water will seep through the perforations in a few minutes.
The next method is the easiest. Fill the bottle with water and seal the neck of the bottle with foam rubber instead of a cork. Place it on its side under the trunk of the plant and the water will slowly seep in, providing a constant supply of moisture to the soil.
You can drip irrigate with corrugated tubing from a wire or an old hose. Puncture the entire length of the surface in various places. Next, bury the pipe shallowly or place it in the ground.
It can be attached to the end of the pipe or lowered into a bucket placed on high ground. Place the pipe or hose along the bed. The automatic irrigation system is ready to go.
FEATURES OF GREENHOUSE PLANT WATERING
Plants grown in the open air are best watered in the evening, in the greenhouse – in the morning. The water for watering in the greenhouse should be more heated than watering in the open field. This is because the temperature indoors is higher than outdoors. Remember to put open buckets and buckets with water next to the greenhouse plants so that you can create a favorable microclimate.
On particularly hot summer days, mulching material can help lower the temperature. It can be stretched and fixed on the roof or hung indoors as curtains.
The idea is to create a barrier that blocks direct sunlight. The windows and doors of the greenhouse should be open to avoid creating insulation.
A less costly method is to treat the exterior of the greenhouse with a solution of water and chalk in the ratio of 8 liters of water to 200 grams of chalk. By doing this, the transmission of sunlight is reduced. When such chalking is no longer needed, simply wash it off with water.
If the weather is particularly hot and windless, many gardeners will put fans on the floor of the greenhouse.
HOW TO HELP HOUSEPLANTS SURVIVE THE HEAT
Houseplants also need our help during the heat:
- The easiest way is to take potted plants with flowers to a balcony or shed, thus giving indoor plants a natural temperature difference between night and day.
- Try not to transplant indoor plants in hot weather.
- Use any method to lower the indoor temperature: connect air conditioner, put pallets of damp clay pebbles, use fans.
- Spray plants with a sprayer frequently to increase air humidity.
- Remove plants from a windowsill (to prevent direct sunlight), hang blinds, and reflect the film.
- Water in the morning and evening.
- Healthy houseplants tolerate heat more easily than weakened plants, so try to improve their condition. Regular treatment (usually every two weeks) with stress-resistant biological agents and pest control will help do this during the summer.
We can’t change the weather or lower the temperature outside, but we can help your plants survive the heat. And what are you doing to help your plants in the heat of summer? Share your experiences in the comments of the article.