Although summertime is known for fun family getaways and carefree days at the pool, there is a darker side to summer not everyone talks about. But we’re not afraid, we’ll come right out and say it: Summertime is HOT. No matter which way you slice it, the summer months give us increased sunshine, higher temperatures, and sometimes, much less rain than we’re used to (depending on where you live).
And that means our poor plants are suffering. Hotter temperatures, stronger sun rays, and more hours of sunshine are indicators that our plants are in need of some extra H2O. Especially since these factors also equal more water evaporation, you’ll have to give even more attention to how frequently and how much you are watering your plants.
So, how often should you water your garden in the summer? We’re about to find out.
How Often to Water Your Garden
The frequency in which you water your garden depends heavily upon the types of plants you have. Since each plant has its own set of watering rules, you need to pay attention to specific care instructions for each variety. For every type of garden, though, one good rule to keep in mind is checking a couple inches into the soil before watering—whether or not the soil is moist is the best indicator for whether or not you should water.
Depending on Plant Variety…
- Annual and Perennial Flowers: According to this article, annuals concentrate their roots in the top 6 inches of the soil, while perennials are rooeted in the top 12″. It’s recommended to water deeply, and once or twice a week is probably plenty. Remember, however, that container plants need more water than those planted in the ground.
- Summer Vegetable Patch: Veggies need at an inch of water per week in the summer—whether that’s delivered via rainfall or your loving hand is up to Mother Nature. You’ll want to pay attention, though, to the certain vegetables that need extra water during critical growth. There’s more information on that here.
- Drought-Resistant Plants: If you were thinking ahead, perhaps you planted some drought-resistant plants that can handle a lack of water. Make sure you’re pruning and fertilizing these flowers correctly, and err on the dry side when it comes to manual watering. It’s worse to over-water your plants, so use the above-mentioned moisture gauging trick to find out when you should water.
Depending on Garden Zone…
The climate in your area is another huge factor when trying to decide how often you should water your plants in the summer. Some areas experience cool, wet summer climates while others are akin to dry ovens. Below are some categories your area may fall into—though it’s best to buy plants that are right for your garden zone, sometimes you have to check after the fact. Use this tool to find your UK gardening zone, and this one for US hardiness zones, then adapt your watering habits accordingly. Generally speaking, hotter and drier climates will require more frequent watering unless your plant is very drought-resistant.
- Very Hot and Dry
- Hot and Humid
- Mild and Sunny
- Wet and Warm
- Warm Days, Cold Nights
Best Times to Water
Lastly, the time of day you water your plants is just as important as how much you do it. Watering in the middle of the day in the summer is a big no-no—the water will evaporate before it has the chance to seep through the soil and reach the root ball.
The best times of day to water are either early in the morning or in the evening, after dinnertime. Not only are these times much more beneficial for the plants to retain moisture, but they are also much more comfortable times of day for the gardener (that’s you!). Keep these guidelines in mind, and you should be fine.
Feeling good about finishing the summer strong? Make sure you join Rozanne’s Inner Circle for more crucial plant survival tips such as these!