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Summer Watering Tips for Your Plants in the Summer Heat

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The heat is on! When the mercury rises here in Charleston, most of us head indoors. But what about your flower beds baking in the hot sun and humidity all day? Even if you’ve planted native flowers and shrubs that can better tolerate the hot days, they still need extra attention during this warm season.

To keep the plants in your Charleston landscape perky and pretty, follow these summer watering tips:

  • Water deeply and less often. Give your plants a good soaking so the water goes deep into the soil. A quick sprinkle with the hose won’t be enough. Plus, if you water more deeply, you won’t have to water as often – which keeps you out of the sweltering heat too!
  • If possible, water in the morning. This gives the plants a good drink and prepares them for the heat of the day. Watering at night can allow moisture to settle on the soil and leaves, causing disease.
  • Along those same lines, avoid getting water on the leaves. You should be soaking the soil anyway. Too much water on the leaves can cause disease.
  • Avoid the sprinkler. For the most part, sprinklers don’t really give the plants a good soak and all too often, more water ends up on the sidewalk than the plants. Hand watering allows you to give the plants a thorough drink. At the same time, you can inspect the plants for pests or signs of disease while pulling a few weeds or dead-heading plants.
  • New plantings need more water. It takes some time for new flowers and shrubs to develop a deep root system, so give them extra water as they get established.
  • Pay attention to the forecast. If you’re anticipating a summer shower, plan accordingly so you don’t run the risk of overwatering.
  • Don’t forget the mulch. About 2 inches of mulch – bark, pine straw, grass clippings or leaves – will trap in the water and as well keep the roots cool and protected from the heat.

Lastly, know your plants. Work with your Charleston landscape designer to select heat tolerant plants and then understand their watering needs. Some plants need more watering while others prefer to dry out before a thorough soaking. If you’ve added herbs or vegetables to your garden, those will require lots of sunshine – and a regular watering schedule.

Understand what’s in your garden and flower beds so you can keep those plants alive all summer long and looking lush even when you’re wilting.