A Few Notes on Summer Heat and Watering

The weather has turn hot and humid, of course this is normal for summers in Tennessee.  We are blessed with a very long growing season but our summers can be extremely warm.  Last year on a record setting June day we reached over 110 degrees.  Which also happened to be the day our air conditioner decided to quit!  We spent that day making snowcones with all the curtains shut just to stay cool.  Our plants don't have the ability to make snowcones though.  They don't need air conditioning either.  What they do need is good watering.  Not too much and not too little.  Too much water can drown the roots and introduce fungal diseases among the branches.  Too little water and they won't be able to survive.

So far this year I haven't set up my garden's irrigation.  I haven't really needed additional water very much.  We've had good rainfall and the soil deep beneath my pepper plants has been very moist due to the sheet composting layer of grass clippings covered with newspaper.  The soil and mulch on the top layer keeps the water around the roots just where it needs to be.  Mulch is critical to keeping a garden healthy in our hot summers.  You can't depend on the rain to water your garden and the mulch regulates the soil temperature and evaporation rate. Soon I'll be adding my garden irrigation system to make watering my plants simpler and easier than walking around with a watering can.  I have something different in mind this year that I'll share with you soon.

Always remember to water your plants in the morning or in the evening.

Wet plants + Extreme Heat and Humidity = Fungal Diseases

Keep the water low to the ground and put it where the roots are.  The foliage doesn't need watered.  Soaker hoses or drip irrigation lines are great for putting the water where it needs to be.

Try to garden in the morning before the heat of the day has really set in to avoid heat related illnesses.  Always drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated too!

The summer heat is a good thing for our warm season plants until it gets in the mid 90's.  Many plants will shut down their production while the heat is too high.  When it gets cooler they will produce again.

For now the heat will encourage our tomato and pepper plants to produce fruit which we're all looking forward to!  I can't wait for that first tomato from the garden, how about you?

Labels: ,