How often do you water in the heat?

sammy zone 7 TulsaAugust 22, 2014

Our temps are 100 with a heat index of 106. Most of you can agree with these temps or report higher figures. How often do you water when the heat is like this? This morning my only gardening chore was to do the hand watering, and start the soaker hose watering. I just turned off the soaker hoses after moving the hoses a few times.

It is tempting to water like this every other day. I have usually gone every three or four days. How often do you water when it is this hot?


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I try to put it off as long as I can because:
A) I'm lazy
B) I try to save water
C) I want the plants to grow hardy, not watery and weak...and put down deep roots, so when I DO water, I try to overwater and get soil fairly deeply wet.

I water when the plants tell me to, by looking mildly distressed. Obviously the heat will cause some distress, but if you know your plants, you know the difference.

That being said, I have some recent transplants and seedlings that I'm carrying water in buckets to...on a daily or every other daily basis.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:58PM
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I usually water deep about once a week if we don't have rain but we have had a good rain shower at least once a week here in se Texas. If it rains I will usually see how the plants are doing after about 4 days and if they look like they need a drink I will water.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 6:18PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I was going to share this in a post but this one seems fitting

Last week we had our main garden irrigation line break. It was old and dad had added used and now leaky hose bibs to it. Part was replaced a couple of years ago and I had planned on finishing that project once we had rain. That did not happen last winter so I was planning on it for this winter. Of course the old lines did not make it

Because we did not want to waste any water, the hose bibs that had minor drips we capped off. The ones that dribbled I used on drip systems around the garden. We have a shut off valve at the house so the irrigation. Water is only turned on a few hours a week

Once the line broke, I by passed part of it to water the rest of the garden. It has been in the 80s at moms. Not too hot. Only being watered once this week has had very little effect on most of the plants including roses fruit trees and veggies since they are used to one or two drip waterings a week.

The roses and trees on the leaky bids are looking dry and droopy. They grew fast and relied on regular water and are not happy.

It is a lesson on building deep roots. Those now dry plants got more water but used it differently

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 6:18PM
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seil zone 6b MI

When it's that hot I water the beds at least every other day. All the pots, of course, need it daily. But when it's that hot I prefer to do over head watering with the sprinklers. The roses appreciate the cooling off and they do absorb moisture through the leaves too. I found the soaker hoses didn't really do an adequate job of watering in that high heat and the roses struggled more. The soakers only put a small band of water down whereas the sprinklers get all the soil around the roses and they do much better for it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:34PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Unfortunately I have to water every day when it's in the nineties or hotter. Even when I water slowly and deeply I find that by the second day some of the roses are very dry. The water just doesn't seem to stay in the soil, in spite of mulching well.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

we water daily on a drip system. It works fine unless there is a leak, and we water the road. Happens now and then.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:01AM
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Edit: wrong forum

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, Aug 23, 14 at 0:08

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:07AM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

Wow, I sure water a lot less than others here, with the exception of roses in pots and baby roses. I do search for roses that are both heat and drought tolerant though. There are many more roses that like heat and can be grown here with the caveat being unlimited water. We are in a drought (likely to continue), I watch my water bill, and I'm lazy, so energy efficient roses are a good match for me.

When the temp tips 100, the roses in pots get watered every other day or every 2 days. Some are capable of going much longer between drinks and aren't in tiny pots.

Roses in the ground, well that depends on both age and overall water needs. Baby roses, new the current year, may get water every other day, every two days, or every three days+--more towards every three days if they've had a chance to establish at least a little before summer heat hits.

Most of my roses have average or below average water needs in my garden but I have some that are above average water users. Above average would be Grandmother's Hat (she looks wonderful in Jeri's coastal garden and at the Stagecoach Inn that gets more ocean influence than I do here). GH is in partial shade but still needs water around twice a week+. Souvenir de la Malmaison does slightly better and only is a little above average--about once every 5 days or so in a shady spot.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are rugosas, such as Wild Edric that can easily go weeks in between waterings, say once or twice a month. Spinosissimas, damasks, albas and some species are about the same. Yet some are extraordinarily water thrifty. R. minutifolia, once established can go the entire summer without any water in full sun.

The European and Middle Eastern once-bloomers would not be happy here with too frequent irrigation as that would prevent them from going into their natural dry heat induced dormancy--and I'd get no flowers the following year.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:49PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

Melissa, I'm just curious about what kind of soil you have. Even with daily water now Wild Edric's lower leaves on the two plants that grown in full sun are brown and withered and even the green leaves have a curled look, which I don't see on the two other Wild Edrics that have some shade. It just takes one extra day without water for the roses to look stressed. I must have the worst possible soil (in addition to the worst solar radiation) for growing roses or much of anything else for that matter.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:23PM
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Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev

My soil isn't very good. Very sandy loam with lots of rocks. Drains very fast. Can compact to concrete like hardness (I know this only too well from my project to replace the front lawn with drought tolerant plants--oh my aching back!). Low fertility which may explain why rugosas like it so much.

Just yesterday I moved 1 rose and planted 5 others. All holes drained well, but in one I had the hose turned on full blast using a watering wand, and the hole wouldn't fill up--the water was draining as fast as I put it in!

I try to put into practice for my roses some of what I've learned in classes at the local botanic garden. Group plants together with similar water needs. Also plant in plant communities--the concept is the plants help each other in some way, whether it is by nourishing the soil with nitrogen-fixing capabilities, giving natural mulch from leaves, or providing shade--especially for roots but sometimes from above to block the worst of summer heat for those plants that need some protection.

Not long after I planted Wild Edric, I gave him a friend in the form of a heat and sun loving drought tolerant salvia from South Africa called Salvia namaensis. This salvia is very bushy and grows fairly fast. It provides WE's roots with shade for much of the day. Needs zero fertilizer and very little water yet blooms most of the year. How much of a difference this has made for Wild Edric I don't know, but neither plant seems to require much water and they both look great.

I have been experimenting with putting various
other low water plants, especially California natives adjacent to my roses. And many do get their roots shaded by various neighbors. Sometimes I use drought tolerant grasses such as Bouteloua gracilis and others that also provide food for wildlife and snacks for my dogs. Sort of mutually beneficial gardening with a minimum of intervention needed on my part, kind of mini ecosystems. I have lots of bees, birds, and butterflies in my garden as they can find food and shelter there year round.

A nitrogen fixer that you might like is Olneya Tesota (Desert Ironwood). It has lavender sweet pea like flowers and is a nurse plant in desert areas. Can go for periods without much water or handles moderate garden watering just fine (but frequent summer water will kill it). Very slow growing however.


Here is a link that might be useful: Olneya Tesota, Desert Ironwood

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 4:15PM
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From about April to about November, I water deeply once a week, whatever the temperature. This might seem odd, as you'd think I'd water more when it's hot; but when it's hot the water evaporates pretty quickly so it's fairly useless--the plants just have to learn to cope. Should I have any roses in pots, as for propagation purposes, they get another watering mid-week. About November, I cut back to every two weeks or more until we get our first good rain of the season; then I don't water at all until things dry up after the rainy season. (Rainy seasons. You remember rainy seasons. They used to happen here in Southern California.)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:38PM
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We have a as often as they seem to need it. With hot weather (and no rain) at least twice a week. Your weather seems maybe more often?

When I do water, I water a long time, so the roots will not stay at the surface. I also add a lot of aged horse manure when I plant, which encourages the roots to grow down, too! Hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 6:14PM
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