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Water therapy – for plants

OK – I admit it – it is hot outside.  If you have plants in pots, you will see them wilting faster than plants in the ground.  Best to check them each day and look for signs of wilting.  An important things to consider during there spikes in temperature and the warmer days of summer ahead is watering the plants, especially now that we have officially moved into summer.

It is better to water longer because you will saturate the soil.  The goal is to water deeply so plants will produce roots that go deeper into the soil. The results will be healthier plants that will be able to withstand dry periods longer. Watering for only a few minutes doesn’t really help a plant because it will only dry out again sooner. Most plants need an inch of water per week during the spring and fall season.  An inch and a half of water is required, on average, during summer months.

Mulching around plants helps retain moister in the soil and you will not have to water as often.  I use a shredded hard wood mulch around larger plants such as trees and shrubs.  I have been using newspaper and straw in the vegetable garden.  Having soils that are rich in organic material helps retain moisture longer.

Frequently check the soil to see how dry it actually is.  Stick your finger into the ground down to your knuckle.  If it is still moist – check it again the next day.  Remember – watering deeply throughout the root zone of the plants is the key.  Deeper roots (trees and shrubs) require longer watering.

A good video on watering tips – that is fun to watch – and actually learn from is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrdN5Z5K5Qs

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