July 05 2022

The Science of Summer Watering

Feeling thirsty on a hot summer day and only cold water will do? There’s a good chance your plants feel the same way. During other seasons, water may be more of a nice-to-have than a need-to-have for many plants, but in summer, you must be deliberate and even somewhat strategic—not just with your watering schedule, but also with the watering technique. Here’s what you need to know:

Do Plants Need More Water in Summer?
The short answer to this question is yes, plants need more water in summer. However, it’s a little more complicated. More water doesn’t necessarily mean more water by volume. That’ll just waterlog them. It’s more a matter of making sure your plants absorb more of the water that you give them. Don’t be so quick to water more frequently. First, water more thoroughly, until the soil is fully saturated, and see if that gives your plants the nourishment they need.

 How Often Should I Water My Plants in Summer?
Count on watering most plants at least once or possibly twice a week during the summer months. The general rule of thumb for the lawn is every two days, amounting to roughly one inch of water per week. Garden plants have their own watering guidelines that you’ll want to follow—and don’t forget about your houseplants, too. Trees are usually much easier to attend to because they aren’t as prone to waterlogging and may only need one or two waterings per month to stand up to the heat.

What Is a Good Summer Watering Schedule?
Summer watering can become a demanding job of its own if you have a sprawling landscape with many different plants, each requiring their own watering needs. The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to avoid watering when the sun is high overhead if possible. Many homeowners can realistically only find time to water in the early morning before they go to work or late afternoon when they come home—and that fits perfectly for the ideal watering schedule. Lawn watering can of course be automated with traditional sprinklers or, better yet, a smart watering system to optimize irrigation and conserve water.

How Much Is Too Much?
Overwatering is one of the most common struggles homeowners have in caring for houseplants. This tendency often carries over to outdoor plants, especially in summer when you can feel the hot sun and see its damaging effects. Remember, your plants don’t need or want more water all at once. They want to absorb and retain water more functionally, just like hydrating throughout the day is more effective than gulping water after you’ve become dehydrated. If your plants are overflowing with water, you’ve watered too much or too fast. Take it slow and make it last!

Pro Tips for Watering During a Heat Wave
During the hottest stretches of summer, water is the lifeline your plants need to withstand the heat. These heat wave watering tips can be helpful:

  • Aim for early morning or late afternoon.
  • Water slowly so that the water reaches the roots.
  • Use mulch to assist with absorption.
  • Give special attention to every part of your landscape.

Read more about these tips and contact High Tech Landscapes for year-round residential landscaping services in NJ—because in our beautiful state, summer isn’t the only season with outdoor appeal!