by Andrea Laine, EMGV
The good news is there are currently no drought advisories in North Carolina. The southeast received an average of 7.05 inches of precipitation in May, way above normal. So, we entered June strong. But with the heat index pushing temperatures way past 90°F this week, gardeners do need to be mindful about watering.
Here are helpful reminders:
- During periods of extremely hot weather, a plant can lose water through transpiration faster than its roots can take water from the soil, which is why we see wilting on hot days even when we’ve had ample rainfall. Learn more.
- Watering deeply once per week will generally do more for a plant’s sustainability than shallow watering more frequently. Learn more
- If your garden contains recently planted trees or shrubs, keep a close eye on them during extreme weather conditions. Learn more.
- Plants grown in containers will likely need more frequent watering during hot weather; twice a day (early morning and later afternoon) is not unusual. Avoid watering anything after sunset. Learn more.
- Don’t overlook the lawn. Turfgrasses are unable to photosynthesize (produce food from sunlight) without water. Learn more.
Even warm season vegetable plants have their limits and will temporarily stop bearing flowers or fruits during heat waves. Knowing when to water, how to water, how much, and how often to water can make or break your garden. Follow these reminders and keep your plants happy and healthy despite the heat.