Prolonged heat ahead! Any tips?

ally99June 27, 2012

Hi all! Do you do anything different to care for your garden when there are prolonged periods of triple digit heat? My tomatoes are reddening nicely, so I'm currently not watering very much to preserve the flavor of the tomatoes. However, the forecast is brutally hot for the next week, and I wondered if watering more than usual would help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Ally in Athens

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rosiew(8 GA)

Looking forward to hearing learned opinions - about tomatoes and the entire property. Glad you posted, Ally.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:31PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

Ally, guess this is a secret, not to be shared. I'm very concerned about my trees more than anything. The soil is bone dry. May try to get the equivalent of an inch of rain to them. Don't feel I can water past 10 a.m. because of losing much to sheer evaporation. Think I'll visit the Trees Forum.

Rosie

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 5:04PM
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frankielynnsie

This is one tip I use for the hot summer that has gotten most of my planted-this-year bushes through the summer. I build a moat around all of my newly planted bushes, take a BIG black nursery pot and put a cheap plastic kitchen garbage bag in it, fill with water, poke a little hole in the plastic bag at one of the drainage holes and it becomes drip irrigation of 4 gallons or so. I fill the pot up in the evening every 3 or 4 days. It doesn't look beautiful but has worked well. If the pot is not in a spot that it sits well I will put a 1 1/2' piece of bamboo thru one of the side drainage holes into the ground to hold the pot in place (before I put in the plastic bag). I will stop and liberate any big nursery pots I see on the side of the road going out with the garbage.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:08PM
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frankielynnsie

One other thing I use is the do it yourself Mister landscape kit you can get from Lowes for $55 or so. It does a gallon per mister/dripper an hour, 50 ft long and you can customize it to your needs. I have this around the house to all foundation plants and one in the garden. I set it for 30 mins in the evening as needed. I have had this for 19 years and have only had to replace a few parts which are available individually. I do drain it and put it away in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:19PM
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georgiahomegarden

The ground is so dry where I live it is beyond ridiculous. This drought running through middle Georgia is awful. Seems like it is all or nothing when it comes to our rain.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:23PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

FrankieLynn, I'd be very interested in the watering system you talk about, that "mister" landscape kit. I could sure use it in a few places, I wonder if it would work with a pump, since most of my water doesn't come from a hose (City water is WAY expensive here)...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 11:36PM
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frankielynnsie

This is what they say about the system and you can see it on their website. I don't know how a pump would do but if it is the same water pressure as water pipes it would work. It comes with a screen to screen out impurities. It has gone up in price--$30 19 years ago and may be cheaper in the fall.

Mister Landscaper Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit

Mister Landscaper Vegetable Garden Drip Irrigation Kit
Item #: 320744 Model #: MLK-VEG
1/2 GPH drippers are molded into the 1/4" tubing every 12"
5 of the 1/4" on/off valves can be used to turn on and off water supply to the 1/4" in-line drip tubing that runs to the various seasonal vegetables
Expandable by attaching 3 more of these kits together or by purchasing extra 1/4" in-line drip tubing (MLD-QDT100) to add on to this kit

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 5:52AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

ggg, the watering system frankielynn recommended uses so little water that I think you'd not see much of an impact on your city water bill.

I'm irrigating all the trees at the back of my property. That's what I'm most concerned about. Leaving oscillating sprinkler going for about two hours before moving, doing it before the heat rises. I'd hate to lose trees, for sure, and will just brace myself for next Gwinnett County water bill. Think it'll be money well spent.

Kicked up such huge dust storms while edging beds that I'd have to stop until the air cleared so I could continue.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 5:53AM
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esh_ga

One thing I'm NOT doing is mowing my grass. It seems to do better if I leave it a little long during this time so that the longer blades can shade the ground.

Just got back from out of town so most of the place looks horrible. Am putting a slow drip hose on the worst things first and getting around to all the young shrubs and trees in time. Mature ones will just have to make it on their own. They lived through the drought of 2007-2009 and will probably live through this.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 8:00AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

esh, I'm not taking chances on my trees. Drought weakens them. I both want the trees and want to avoid the awful costs of having them taken down. When I lived in Roswell, had pines in the very driest spot on my land succumb to pine bark beetle.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 8:20AM
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esh_ga

rosiew, I understand your perspective. Yes, drought can affect trees even after the drought is over. Watering is good insurance if you can do it.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 10:19AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

City water honestly incredibly ridiculous. It is sewer charges and they charge by what goes in, not what comes out. So even if I water veggies, they charge me as if I'm flushing a toilet.
My tanks would run me free, forever on a system that used so little water :)
Thanks for the info. I filter my water going into tanks via various systems. If the system comes with a filter I can add a regulator to get the correct PSI (as long as I have enough umph, my current pumps are low PSI).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 2:58PM
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ally99

Thanks for your replies!
I tried putting up a shade EZ-up tent on the first day of triple digits. It worked for heat but created a horrible side effect...a shady spot for birds to perch! That morning all looked great! By the evening, I had 7 unusable tomatoes. Needless to say, I decided to let my plans endure the heat rather than another day of birds and took the tent down. I did put a radio out there to create some sound. So far that's kept critters away. :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 8:07AM
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SneakyP86(7B)

Ally just be careful not to over water your tomato's as they will crack pretty easily once they start turning red. What I would do is to start picking them when they get a good blush going to help prevent that.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 11:06AM
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