Watering in the summer is a complex topic that can be vastly researched in order to gain a better understanding of the appropriate technique. With that in mind, here are some basic tips:
Water in the early morning. Morning is the best time of day to water. If you water after the sun has gone down, your plants may sit in water all night which can make them susceptible to disease. Watering during the day maximizes evaporation and is inefficient.
Use mulch. Mulch helps lock in moisture.
Use the power of observation. Sometimes plants’ leaves will turn brown and begin to wilt when they are being over watered. Put your hand under the mulch and into the soil to determine dryness. Observe the weather. If we get times of cloud cover and rain, you may need to water less.
Water deeper and less frequently. This one is tricky. This rule applies for anything that is in the ground. When you do water, don’t do shallow watering. Watering a landscape for 5 minutes by hand a couple times a week won’t do. Think of it this way: roots chase the water. If you water and really soak your plants, you will encourage your plants’ roots to thrive deeper in the soil. If you water inadequately and the water penetrates the ground a couple inches deep, you are encouraging shallow roots. The first few inches of the soil is the first part to dry out which makes it difficult for plants to thrive under inadequate watering. Try watering two to three times a week and really soak your plants. Again, go back to the first three rules to determine how often your plants need to be watered.
Keep your plants well fed. Healthy plants that have been given proper nutrition handle drought better than plants that are already compromised by malnutrition.
Know your plants. Familiarize yourself with the type of plants you have and their specific needs in order to best care for them.
Please reference the links below for more in-depth information and feel free to call or stop in with any questions! (970) 484-5022
Resources from the City of Fort Collins
Free Sprinkler Audit – “A sprinkler audit shows you how to use your sprinkler system more effectively. An audit can help you learn about your sprinkler system, identify a leak, keep plants/trees alive and water more efficiently.”
Daily Lawn Watering Guide – “The daily Lawn Watering Guide is designed to help you use the right amount of water on your lawn.”
Resources from Colorado State University
Watering an Established Lawn – “The condition of the grass and soil – not the number of days since watering – is the best guide to irrigation. If you water daily or every other day, just because water is available, it is a waste of water and can be detrimental to the lawn.”
Watering a Home Landscape During Drought – “Colorado’s semiarid climate, which is prone to periods of drought, requires that homeowners and land managers care for their landscapes in a responsible water-wise manner.”