Bring on the St. Louis Heat

Posted by Mosquito Squad

June 18, 2012

Most of us have a system for watering our beloved vegetation.  Mine happens to be my husband! But what happens when the full blown St. Louis Summer bears it’s evil, scorching teeth?  Below are some tactical suggestions for how to keep your plants kicking without wasting the precious fresh water supply.

The goal:

To get the right amount of water to the plants’ roots to ensure a happy, productive landscape.

Which time of day to water:

Early morning or early evening, because the sun will be weaker and thus less water will evaporate.  Early morning is the best option: plants and lawns typically should not be watered at night because the lingering water on leaves supports fungal growth.  But if that is the only time you have available, by all means, night watering is better than no watering!

How frequently to water:

In extremely hot weather, give established plants a really good soaking every two or three days (because pots dry out quicker, they require watering every two days).  Fully satisfying the roots every few days will be a lot more beneficial than daily sprinkling.  For young plants, however, it is important to water the top layer of the soil frequently to help them establish their roots.  Regardless of the situation, make sure you are watering only as fast as the soil can soak it up.

Where to Water:

At the root!  Especially true for vegetable gardens.  Water on the leaves encourages disease, so stay focused on the roots.

What to water with:

Sprinklers are the most efficient way to water grass.  However, for plants I recommend using a hose with a small stream, a watering can, or a soaker hose.

Root feeders can be great for larger plants, such as trees.  They slowly drip water into the soil.  Place them out from the trunk to the area that you estimate the roots reach under the soil.

I hope this helps with those watering questions that pop up during this time of year!

Happy sprinkling!