We've been busy planting like it is April, weeding like it is June, and enduring a heatwave that would rival any during July. It definitely has been an interesting gardening season.
Here are some of our favorite tips for watering:
1. Water early in the day as close to the base of the plant as possible. If you find yourself needing to water later in the day, avoid having water directly applied to the leaves of the plant which could invite disease issues.
2. Water deeply and infrequently. Your plants will have better root systems if they need to seek out water. Use your finger to determine if there is some moisture in the soil. If the soil is relatively wet, avoid watering especially if you have a heavy clay content in your soil.
3. Use mulch. For landscapes, a nice wood mulch is recommended such as cedar or cypress. Try to avoid rock mulches as they create warm (sometimes very hot!) root zones. For vegetable gardens, grass clippings work well. Be sure to know the history of your grass clippings since lawn chemicals may have adverse effects on your vegetables.
4. Invest in drip irrigation or a soaker hose, which helps deliver water more efficiently as compared to a sprinkler system.
And for yourself, be sure to postpone gardening activities during the hottest time of the day and drink plenty of water.
Vegetable- wise, this has been a tough year for lettuce and other cool season vegetables. During a heat wave, flavors may change. The most known case of this is lettuce turning bitter. In that case, remove the plants and instead plant warmer season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and others. There will hopefully be opportunities for Fall lettuce once the temperatures cool down.