Aug 06, 2023

Water, water everywhere

These HOT summer months have me thinking a lot about water! Staying hydrated when enjoying outdoor activities, taking trips to the lake and dips in the pool, but what about plants? They need water to survive too! It is every gardener’s desire to keep them alive, while being smart and efficient with watering.

From Dr. Gary Hawkins in UGA’s Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences, to be most efficient with water in the landscape, 7 practices should be considered from conception of a landscape design all the way to the execution its maintenance.

And here are some tips I’ve shared with listeners, based on my own experience.

Water plants and lawns between midnight - 10 a.m. This has been shown to save up to 20 gallons a day! These ‘less hot’ times of the day avoid water being lost to evaporation. So that a plant can best utilize it, always water at the plant’s base. Larger plantings can benefit from a soaker hose. Put Mother Nature to work for you! Leave watering cans out in the open to catch rain water. When it comes to rain barrels, Bob Westerfield, UGA Extension Horticulturalist, cautions that water from these has oftentimes traveled across a roof that could possibly be contaminated. Just use on edibles at your own risk. But, that water is certainly good for non-edibles. Then there’s also water from dehumidifiers and cooling systems’ condensate for smaller plantings. And lastly, to hydrate houseplants, use leftover water from the night’s water glasses, rather than just pouring it out.

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