Probably the most common question we get here at Fasel & Sons is: "How should I water it?"
There's only 1 simple rule:
Water it when it gets dry.
Containers use more water than things in the ground. Remember that plants in the ground can search for and get more water by growing their roots deeper and wider. Plants in containers though only get what we give to them. They can't grow their roots out past the container walls to get more. Outdoor containers, flower pouches, and hanging baskets need to be checked for water daily, especially during the hot summer months. Either lift up on the pot and feel it's weight (dry pots are lighter than wet pots) or stick a finger an inch or two into the soil. If it feels like a damp sponge you're probably ok for the day. If it's dry though, it's time to water.
When watering, we want to make sure to have a thorough drenching. There should be no such thing as a light watering. We either drench it or we don't touch it. Light waterings create all kinds of problems which can include root rot, fungus, and disease. We should add enough water that it starts to come out the holes in the bottom of the pot. If our pot doesn’t have holes, it's a good idea to make some so you can water properly.
After drenching, give the plant 5 or 10 minutes and drench it again. This ensures that the soil has had a chance to soak up as much as it can. Don't worry, you'll never "drown" your plants by watering them too much at any given time. We water twice because sometimes dry soils actually resist water at first.
Watering Plants in the Ground
Plants in the ground should generally be watered once a week, though it's always best to check and see if they need it. Spacing out the waterings to only weekly encourages a strong, deep root system that can handle abuse and remain vigorous during heat stress.
Just like in containers, we want to ensure that we are watering very thoroughly. The best way to do this for individual plants is to turn the hose to a trickle, like you would if you were going to drink out of it, and place it at the base of the plant for 15 to 20 minutes. If you're worried about forgetting to shut it off, just set a timer on your phone (I know this is what I always have to do because I've forgotten a few too many times). This gives the water a chance to soak the area deeply.
Watering your lawn properly is important to keep it healthy and green. Here are some tips for watering your lawn effectively, especially during hot weather:
Water deeply and infrequently: Instead of frequent shallow watering, give your lawn a deep watering. This encourages the roots to grow deeper, making the grass more resilient to heat and drought. During relatively mild temperatures (up to 85 degrees), aim for about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. As the temperatures rise up into the upper 80's or 90's, aim for 2 inches of water per week. This is best done with 2 waterings of 1 inch each.
Water in the early morning: Watering your lawn in the early morning allows the grass to absorb the moisture before the heat of the day. This reduces water loss due to evaporation and gives the grass time to dry before evening, which helps prevent disease.
Water at the right time: Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, as the water can evaporate quickly. Also, avoid watering in the evening, as the grass may stay wet overnight, increasing the risk of fungal diseases. Early morning is the best time to water.
Adjust sprinkler settings: Make sure your sprinklers are set to deliver water evenly across the lawn. Adjust the sprinkler heads to avoid watering sidewalks, driveways, or other non-landscaped areas.
Monitor soil moisture: Check the moisture level of the soil regularly. Insert a screwdriver or a soil moisture meter into the ground. If it goes in easily and the soil feels moist, you can delay watering. If it's dry, it's time to water.
Remember to follow any local watering restrictions or guidelines in your area. Each region may have specific recommendations for watering lawns during hot weather.
One Important Rule:
Keep The Leaves Dry!
First, plants can't take in water through their leaves. That's like assuming if you were thirsty, you could just go take a bath. The vast majority of water is taken in through the roots. That's why they have them!
Second, if you consistently get the leaves of your plants wet, you'll likely end up with some sort of fungal problem. Certain plants are more susceptible to this than others, but the best practice is to just water the soil!