What Could Possibly Go Wrong

It’s summer and it’s nuclear hot. I’ve worked out in the weather for years and while you may think 100 degrees is hot, to me, it’s just a 100 degree day. I generally don’t feel it until it reaches above 105. Somewhere between 100 and 110 it all feels the same.

In 100 degree weather what could possibly go wrong in your garden? Too much water? Not enough water? Nine times out of ten most problems in a summer garden are simply from not enough water. So, let me give you some tips.

Watering a vegetable garden. Let’s just start there.

If your vegetables are in containers it’s safe to say you will probably need to water them every day.

Watering vegetables two or three times a week can encourage deep root growth if they are in the ground. How much? An inch or so. If you have a sprinkler system the way to measure is to put a cup in the garden and don’t stop watering until it’s collected an inch.

If you’re going to water by hand with a nozzle, water gently like a shower. What I do is I wet the surface and move on and return several times to assure the water is soaking in.

It’s good to avoid watering plant leaves. If you’re using a sprinkler it’s obviously impossible to keep leaves from getting wet. Diseases thrive on moist leaves so water early and the foliage will dry quickly to minimize the risk of disease or sun burn.

So many people have told me they hate bark. I get it, but it does help to keep moisture in the soil.

Every garden has an indicator plant. I look at gardens as energy. It’s something I never really had to teach myself. It’s just something I could see. Call me crazy. Let me help you see it.

Can you see energy or lack of it on the hydrangea on the left? So, here’s the funny thing. This plant you could say is an indicator plant. Meaning it tells you when the garden needs water. An indicator plant can be droopy leaves, sad flowers, or general wilting. In the case of this hydrangea, it can fool you into thinking that you need to water it. Sneaky plant.

Here is the sneaky plant one hour later. I’m not joking. Hydrangeas are big drama queens. Not only was the sun passing over which created the problem, but sometimes plants sweat. I call it afternoon wilt. So, my advice is to get on your hands and knees, dig in the soil and check it.

An easy way to check if hanging baskets need water is to check their weight. If they’re heavy they’re wet. If they’re light they’re dry.

Can we talk tomatoes for a minute? Talk about drama queens. Tomatoes can experience huge fluctuations between dry and wet conditions. They’re prone to blossom drop and rot. Blossom rot appears as black lesions on the base of tomatoes. You can avoid this by keeping plants evenly moist. This allows your tomato food with calcium to be absorbed. Why calcium? Strong stems. That’s why.

When there is an event in the garden such as a dead plant or dry spot in the lawn, just know it i