July tends to be warm or hot in most areas of the US. Our last few days have been warmer than normal and the next few promise to be the same. The heat and lack of rain can be hard on plants.
Here are a few tips to save on watering and watering time in the gardens and yard
Water in the morning so roots have time to take up moisture before it evaporates during the heat of the day. The evening is also a good time to water but make sure you water so that there is enough time for the plants to. This will prevent that slugs and snails attacking the plants in the evening.
I water using barrel of water instead of using a hose (unless its a soaker hose). Regular hoses tend to waster water and water shallow unless left on for long periods of time. If you use a dipper and barrels the water is warm and you can apply the water directly where it’s needed.
You may want to Install drip irrigation or soaker hoses to put water right at plants’ roots and prevent runoff. Frequently check irrigation systems, sprinkler heads, etc for leaks.
Water deeply but infrequently, causing roots to reach down into the soil for moisture and strengthen growth. This is one of the biggest errors made in gardening. Shallow roots dry out faster.
Use an organic mulch to keep roots moist and cool. I use homemade compost. This cools the ground and also adds nutrients around the plants.
Set up a rain barrel. It’s amazing how much water you can collect off a roof.
Put up a rain gauge to help manage your water needs.
Clean off decks, patios, sidewalks, etc with a broom instead of a hose.
Many people reuse household water as much as possible. This would include water from rinsing and cooking pasta and vegetables, cleaning aquariums, and emptying coolers, vases. Water with chemical residue is not recommended.
Above all make sure you stay cool while watering the garden.