This week’s question for our New Brunswick Garden Mentors is: Now that the hot weather is here, what is your best watering advice?
A little note from the editors
We started this project to provide good, local gardening information to our friends, but have started to realize we really appreciate the tips ourselves. You can never learn everything.
Our mentors are willing to answer your questions. Check out their bios for the best way to contact them. We type out phone numbers and the @ sign so bots can’t get hold of the info. Elaine and Archie
Make sure your soil has a good amount of organic matter. This will help to retain water during dry spells and prevent leaching of nutrients during heavy rains.
Use mulch such as straw, bark/wood chips, or leaves to help to retain moisture.
During heat waves make some temporary shade for your plants with shade cloth or lath covers. Did you know that photosynthesizes stops at very high temperatures as well as very low? Also, some plants’ pollen, such as tomatoes, are sterilized above 30-32° C.
Water in the morning.
New plants and seedlings will require more regular watering than established plants.
Use a slow drip soaker hose for deep watering to support root health. You can easily make a soaker hose out of an old water hose.
Use a gutter system to collect rain in a barrel. Eco-Container Co, in Dorchester has many water collection container ideas.
Water early in the morning.
I try to do one inch a week when I use a drip irrigation system. I find it best to water heavily every few days instead of lightly every day. I have extremely porous soil (sand), so addition of organic matter and not overworking the soil is important.
I use black, biodegradable “plastic” made out of cornstarch to help retain soil moisture and repress weeds. This works well for me because I am older and weeding is not as fun as it was when I was 30
I can be reached best by texting: five-zero-six-nine-six-one-two-three-four-three
It’s easy to contact me through Facebook Messenger