Strong and long lasting

Hydrate the garden.

Although we had a pretty wet summer, which meant a lot more mowing than is normal for that time of the year, Autumn looks as if it is going to be dry. Because it is not as hot, many forget that the plants still need to be hydrated to function at their peak. So now is a very important time to keep an eye on the garden to see if the plants need any assistance, as a dehydrated plant is a stressed plant that will struggle to photosynthesize properly, and take in the nutrients it needs to provide you with a healthy, prolific crop.

If the plant is wilting, or the leaves are curling and drying out, it is a good indication that they are not functioning properly and need to be hydrated. This weakened condition also makes it a good target for pests and diseases.

Prevention is easy, just ensure you provide the plants with a consistent supply of water by hydrating the soil around your plants early in the morning. If you water later in the day much will be lost through evaporation, and in the evening, water can stay on the foliage and create an ideal environment for disease.

Don’t water from above as that will make the leaves wet and activate the fungal spores.

Deep watering or Shallow? Both can work, and much will depend on your water supply. I only have tanks, so I water lightly with the watering cans every day. I had a customer that told me her grandmother use to go around each morning putting a tablespoon of water next to every plant, and that seemed to be enough. I give them a little more than that though.

If you have the water supply, deep watering is advantageous, as it helps the roots grow deeper, making them more resilient when it is dry. Roots that go down deep also access more nutrients, which makes them bigger, happier and healthier. When deep watering cover the entire bed, not just the area around the plants. Mulch to retain that water, reducing the frequency of how often you need to water. Then keep an eye on the soils moisture, when the top few inches start to dry out, then apply more water.

Regardless of which method you use, we are coming in for some dry months, so for the sake of the plants and your table, pick your approach and stick to it until the rains come again.