It’s summer, and that means dry heat, drought potential and irrigating your garden. Whether you’re a new gardener or a seasoned pro, keeping your plants watered and preventing drought stress can be a serious task for the high summer months. Here’s a quick look at some top tips to get the best performance out of your garden during summer’s worst heat.
How to Naturally Avoid Drought Stress in Your Garden
- Add soil amendments. If your soil has a poor capacity to hold water, whether it’s sandy or simply doesn’t have a lot of organic matter, there are a number of soil amendments that can boost your soil’s ability to take up water. What kind of amendments? Bentonite clay is a type of amendment that holds tons of water, while greensand loosens heavy clay soils, compost holds a ton of water and nutrients and powdered aloe helps plants take up water more efficiently.
- Mulch it. Mulch protects the soil’s surface and keeps it cooler, which means it’s much easier for the soil to retain moisture. Using natural mulches like Bermuda hay mulch or cottonseed hulls shade the soil’s surface and retains moisture in its own right, allowing the moisture to be available to your plants for a much longer period of time than if you’d left it exposed to the sun. Simply spread the mulch over the surface of the soil, providing room for the plants to get plenty of sunlight and air.
- Water at the right time. Though it’s tempting to water as soon as you get off of work in the afternoon, it’s a much better idea to water last thing in the evening or first thing in the morning. The cooler temperatures allow the moisture to sink fully into the soil where your plant roots are waiting to soak it up and put it to good use.
- Use soaker hoses to ease in the moisture. Soaker hoses have microscopic pores that allow water to slowly seep out, providing plenty of moisture at the base of your plant. This is especially helpful if you’re dealing with any fungal issues such as powdery or downy mildew, which can thrive in damp foliage from overhead watering.
- Consider micro-irrigation. You don’t have to have a huge field to take advantage of irrigation, especially if your garden can have a hose run to it. Basic drip irrigation systems and a timer allow you to automate your watering routine, getting water on your garden in the middle of the night without the crazy time commitment.
By trying a few of these tips, you’ll be able to stay on top of your garden’s water needs this year without breaking the bank or spending all of your time watering. If you need help figuring out the best options for irrigating your garden this year, the professionals at Redbud Soil Company can help with any questions or concerns. Please feel free to reach out today to get started.