Vermont Garden Journal: Three Tips For Watering

Jul 13, 2016

The variability of summer weather means you have to stay on your toes to make sure your garden gets enough water. Here are three tips for keeping your flowers and vegetables hydrated this summer:

Water annual flowers and veggies infrequently, but deeply.

Only water a few times a week, but soak the soil down six inches to encourage the roots to stay deep in the soil. Wetting only the top of the soil, encourages roots to stay on the surface and makes the plant more likely to suffer from drought.

Keep an eye on new trees and shrubs.

Newly planted trees and shrubs are particularly susceptible to drying out. Soak a new tree at least eight to ten inches deep each time. To tell if you've added enough water, push a long screwdriver or metal stake into the soil after watering. If it slides down without resistance, that's enough water. If there's resistance, add more water.

Use gator bags on trees and shrubs.

These plastic sleeves fit around the tree or shrub and can hold 15 to 20 gallons of water. They slowly let the water seep. Fill them up twice a week if it doesn't rain.