While sunlight is vital for plants’ life, extreme heat can be lethal for them. Your plants need some special care during summer to keep flourishing without feeling heat-stressed. Here are a few things you can do to keep your plants healthy in extreme heat.
Deep watering your plants can help you a lot in keeping them healthy in extreme heat.
What is Deep Watering?
In deep watering, we make sure that water gets absorbed more deeply in the soil. Ideally, water should penetrate the soil more than 5 inches deep.
Why is Deep Watering Helpful in Extreme Heat?
Water gets evaporated from the soil’s surface very quickly in extreme heat, so it’s important to water plants deeply. Deep watering can help keep your plants well hydrated long after the soil’s surface has dried.
Deep watering also helps develop the roots of plants as roots try to reach out to absorb water from the soil. Roots’ growth promotes plant growth and helps in keeping them healthy and flourishing in extreme heat.
How to Deep Water Your Plants?
You can never deep water your plants properly by moving your watering can or water hose swiftly over the plants. You should keep your hand steady at the same point or at the same plant for a few seconds to let the soil soak deeply.
Usually, holding a water hose for 5 to 8 seconds at the same spot would be fine for smaller plants. For deep watering bigger pants and trees, you should hold it in one place for 10 to 15 seconds and then move it to the next spot.
For deep watering your container plants, you should water them till the point you see water coming out of the drainage hole.
How Often Should You Deep Water?
You won’t need to deep water your outdoor plants daily, but you’d surely need to monitor them regularly. You can check the moisture in soil simply by putting your finger deep into it and see if it feels moist or dry.
You’d need to deep water your plants every few days, depending on their water requirement in the extreme heat. Considering investing in a drip irrigation system with a timer if you feel you might not be able to water plants regularly yourself.
Depending on their types and needs, you might need to water your indoor plants once or twice a day.
Tips for Deep Watering
Here are a few valuable tips for deep watering your plants:
- Always water your plants early morning or in the evening as it helps in absorbing water deeply in the soil. On the other hand, if you water your plants in the sunlight, it would evaporate quickly before getting absorbed deep into the soil.
- Determine water level according to the type of plants. Make sure that the bigger plants and trees with deeper roots get water soaked in the soil deep enough to reach all their roots. Smaller plants, on the other hand, won’t need water that much deep in the soil.
- Don’t overwater the plants or the soil would be waterlogged. Roots need to respire and take oxygen from the soil around them to stay healthy. Let the soil’s surface dry a bit before watering it again so that the soil can absorb some oxygen from the air. Only water the soil again when it starts feeling dry at the finger depth.
- Create bowls of soil around every plant to hold water around it for a longer period. In this way, water won’t flow away on the surface of the soil and will stay near the roots of the plant where it’s needed.
- Take old flower pots and push them down in the soil next to the plants. Fill these flower pots with water. Now water will keep dripping from the drainage holes of these flower pots into the soil around your plant and will keep it well-hydrated in extreme heat.
- Use a pot saucer or a dish for holding water under your container plants. It will help in retaining the moisture of the soil for long in extreme heat.
Layer of Mulch
After deep watering your plants, you should spread a layer of mulch to protect the soil from losing its moisture in extreme heat. Mulch locks the moisture in the soil and doesn’t let it evaporate quickly under the sun. You can even make mulch yourself with dry leaves. Don’t forget your container plats while mulching.
You should consider moving your heat-sensitive container plants to a shaded area if possible. There’s no need to bring your outdoor plants inside to protect them from heat. This kind of extreme temperature change can stress them out even more.
Use shade cloths to protect your plants from harsh sunlight. Shade cloths provide different levels of sun protection. Some of these would block 15 percent of sunlight, while others would block up to 40 percent or more. You can choose the shade cloth according to the types and needs of your plants. You can also use any old thin curtains or bed sheets for shading your plants.
Things to Avoid
Here are a few things which you should avoid in extreme heat to keep your plants healthy:
- Don’t plant any new plants during a heatwave.
- Don’t transplant or repot any plants in extreme heat as it can stress them out even more, and they won’t be able to cope with the heat.
- Don’t prune your plants in extreme heat, as it can add up to their heat stress.
- Don’t fertilize your plants in extreme heat. Plants need more water to absorb fertilizer and start struggling to get these nutrients to grow. So all this can stress out the plants even more in extreme heat.
You should plan and prepare beforehand for helping your plants in coping with the upcoming heatwave or summer. Implementing these few simple strategies smartly and on time can surely help you keep your plants healthy as ever, even in extreme heat.
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