This year has been rough for gardeners in the Pacific
Northwest. In Seattle alone, we have had several weeks on end with
record-setting temperatures and lack of rain. Long range forecasts predict another drier than normal winter here in
the Pacific Northwest, so correct watering techniques become especially
important during these times. Here are
some Watering 101 strategies we have found to work for our gardens:
- Mulch, mulch, mulch! It is extremely important
in the garden. It helps to reduce water evaporation and fends off weeds, which
means your ornamental plants don’t need to compete for water.
- Water longer and less often. Deep watering is much better than shallow! This means to hold the garden hose on your
containers, beds and raised boxes for several minutes until water can be seen
draining from containers. Deep watering promotes extensive root growth and this is
ideal in hot conditions vs. watering often with small amounts of water creates
shallow-rooted, thirsty plants.
- Do not
over fertilize! Doing so during a drought can cause plants to put on excessive
growth, meaning they will need more water to support them.
- Install a drip irrigation, if you are unable to
water each day. Having underground sprinklers is a bonus as well, but can be
- Watering in the early morning will help to avoid
as much evaporation during the day as possible. Don’t wait to water if a plant
is showing extreme signs of stress from lack of water.
- If container gardening, plant in larger
containers. Due to the large surface
area of the soil volume, it retains and holds moisture a lot better than
smaller containers that need to be watered several times per day.
- Water your vegetables! This is not a place to skimp,
remember it takes water to grow food.
- Remember, new plants, even drought-tolerant
plants, need regular watering for the first two years until established.
By constantly following these best practices
for watering during hot, dry summers and dry winters, your garden will have a
great chance of surviving such extremes in the weather. For further questions
about watering, please contact us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ravenna-Gardens