Bone Dry - Dry Soil?
Whilst some plants like it hot many of us have plants in our gardens that require regular and effective waterings. Plants, like people need more water over the warmer months. Moisture is lost through leaves, bark and roots in the soil. Wind is one of the most moisture sapping elements we have to deal with.
Symptoms of inadequate plant watering are poor plant performance, plant death, visible water run-off without penetrating the soil and dry spots and increased levels of pest and disease. Weak plants are easy targets for bugs and diseases.
Some soils through the summer get so dry, they actually repel water this is called hydrophobic.
Water your garden once every few days rather than applying a small amount every day. By watering a little every day you encourage the plants roots to stay on the soil surface to find water. By deep watering every few days you encourage the roots to go deeper into the soil to seek moisture, this benefits the plant as its roots secure the plant further into the soil.
It is wasteful to apply water faster than the soil can soak it in. If you add too much water too fast it will pond, run off and maybe even wash away the soil. To prevent run-off, water for several short periods if you are having trouble getting the moisture into your soil.
Add organic matter like manures, pea straw and composts to your soil. These help the soil hold onto more moisture and make it available to the plants to take up through their roots. Remember the golden rule, the more you feed your soil the more it will feed you. Saturiad is a watering storing product that you will find at your garden centres, you simply add to your soil, it works almost by magic (this is easier for me to say than trying to explain the science behind it) as is enables dry soils to hold onto water and make it available to plants.
Plant ground cover plants, when soil that is totally exposed to the air and sun it leeches out the most moisture.
Water early morning or evening, when winds have died down and temperatures are cooler. By doing this you will minimise the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Weeding. Keep the weeds in your garden down will reduce the number of plants competing for water in your garden.
Mulching is one of the most cost-effective ways of helping conserve moisture in the garden. For maximum effect you need to apply about 10 cm of organic matter to the soil surface. Mulch reduces moisture loss, reduces weed growth and increases biological activity in the soil.