Watering daily this hot week?

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)July 6, 2010

I watched a self-seeded fern simply wilt and burn, in these temperatures. No way to save it unless I air-conditioned it. But the other beds: fronts of south-facing get a daily watering. Backs, with more shade from trees, get every 2nd or 3rd morning. Vegetables: if seedlings, once or twice a day. Others get water every other day. Mulching has been important.

What are you others doing?

Carol

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Watering the lawn every two days, flower beds and planters daily. The new cactus and succulent garden in my new front yard is getting daily now, but once established should be fine. That's why I planted a xeriscape garden out front. It's the south side and always sunny and hot.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:09PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

I was going to try to tough it out with just minimal, but took a close look today and wow, everything is really baked.

I've had a front and back sprinkler going (starting in shade) since 3. I hope to get an hour watering at every zone (beds and lawn) between now and early tomorrow morning. Almost everything is in shade now.

Some containers need twice a day! Angels Trumpet is almost always wilted, but it doesn't seem to mind.

After all this container watering, will have to give some fert when this breaks.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:41PM
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treeskate(6a Hartford CT)

While the grass has areas of straw, history has showed me that after the first good rain, it all comes back.

Spent weekend deeply watering my new geraniums and some other plants I put in my part shade garden. Then I mulched them good and followed with another deep watering. I figured with this high heat, root rot not likely.

Also connected my soaker hoses that I had left in the ground several years ago and watered 6 hours around the rhodies - they are the first to show how dry gardens are. It reminds me of the panic I experienced the first year the rhodies were planted and wilted in the heat and I thought they were diseased. Landscape installer told me the 'pearl' and I put in the hoses and ran them for 36 hours and they perked up completely. Lesson learned!

Hopefully, this will be only a couple more days.....this is also when I am glad I depend on shrubs rather than delicate flowers - but I do wish I had the colorful display you all have!! So I wish you all cooler weather, no loss of power, and all your beautiful flowers survive. It's New England afterall.....

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 6:04PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

funny you say that about your rhodies and the soaker hose. I also have soakers around my 5 mature rhodies that I haven't used in several years. I was thinking maybe I should check out the soakers and see if they are still good. Could have leaks from chipmunks or whatever. The rhodies are so large now, it would take a lot of effort to examine the soakers. Hopefully they are still functional. I would hate to waste all that time and water if they weren't up to snuff.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 6:31PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Our 2 acres of mowed lawn/pasture are on their own, but I've been watering all the flower beds daily. The plants in containers and pots get watered every day during normal conditions, but now I'm watering some of them both morning and afternoon. It's thirsty weather!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:06PM
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diggingthedirt

Ugh! I was away for about 28 hours and when I got home most of my full-sun hydrangeas were toast. The flowers were not just drooping but some had turned brown - and this was after quite a good soaking the day before I left. I've been doing triage with hoses, sprinklers, and buckets all afternoon, and staying soaked myself in order to keep doing the rounds. I guess part shade is really better for these water hogs - but we so rarely get this kind of heat on the cape that I've gotten sloppy siting a lot of plants.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:44PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

In my five years with this garden I had never watered two days in a row - until today. I'm mostly doing hand watering with the hose nozzle (can't find my favorite sprinkler) and so far everything looks good. Garden beds, that is, the "lawn" is awfully crispy when I walk on it. The humidity was very low here today.

I left a few shady areas until tomorrow - I soaked them well yesterday.

I'm so glad I bought a new, longer hose a few days ago with quick connect gadgets to add the older hose onto it. It's cooling down now and the humidity should be higher tomorrow. Harder on me but better for the garden.

Claire

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:01PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We have only three trees on the property, two mature Maples and one Japanese Maple, but are surrounded by neighbor's mature trees. Seven spruce, and a Pine that are all within 5 ft of the lot line and a Sycamore that's about 10ft away, in one yard. Then 5 Silver Maples in another yard and one huge Silver Maple that is 60 years old in a third. When we get extended drought like this, my yard gets really dry. Watering seems to do the trick for a short period and quickly needs it again. The trees just suck all the moisture out of the ground.

Normally, I water the whole yard deeply once a week, but the last week, I've been watering daily. I start at one end and leave the sprinkler on for an hour and a half in each location and by the time I get to the last station, it's time to start at the beginning again. Takes two days to do the whole thing. I've also had to water by hand a lot too. I have a few plants waiting to go in the ground, parked in the shade. A lilac and a Rhodie 'Purple Gem' that were moved in late May and a Rhodie 'Nova Zembla' that was a Mother's Day gift that was planted soon after. That has been watered and then the next day I go out and it is wilted again.

The vegetable garden has a deep chopped leaf mulch and soaker hoses. I'm avoiding watering that overhead. It was very humid here today. Today is the first time I've watered the lawn. The back is in shade for all but 4 hrs and has not browned yet but the front is crisp in some places. Our sprinkler was working perfectly until 10 days ago when it broke. We had to use it with only a half an arc until we had a chance to get to the store.

I usually don't notice how dry it's getting until something is suffering but so far I seem to be keeping up with it this year, for a change. I really feel bad for nurseries. I would hate to own one this month. I was at Weston Nurseries on Monday and wow, a lot of shrubs were not looking so great. All that overhead watering I think takes it's toll. They had the sprinkler going on their own lawn and it was crispy too.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:29PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

I am watering most garden beds every 36 hours, but the containers and vegetable garden are being watered daily. I am also watering daily the things I moved or planted in the last week or so.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:46PM
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diggerdee

This heat has been awful! I just don't have time to water everything daily, but that's what it needs, it appears. I watered everything on Sunday, and this morning plants were literally brown and crispy - especially my poor astilbes!

It was too hot to even go out and water, so I went out about 7:30 this evening to do it. Couldn't do it all before dark so I'll have to do the rest in the morning. Even things that usually take the heat are wilting. And I've lost about half of my annuals in the cutting garden, even with mulch!

And it's not supposed to rain till the end of the week. I think it's time for a rain dance, lol!

:)
Dee

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:29PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

yeah, I've never seen such crispiness either.

I think today was supposed to be the worst. let's hope.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:52PM
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kpaquette

Oh GOOD. I thought I was being overly cautious. I watered on Sunday and then again yesterday (Tuesday) before I left town for a few days, since I was afraid things wouldn't make it until Friday. I told my husband to water the small containers every day - but should I have him hit the garden again Thursday? I won't be home until late Thursday night. We are in Newport. I'm not sure I trust him to use his judgment. haha.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:28AM
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still_lynnski

Questions: What can you do after a plant has been toasted? I have a peony with leaves that look like crispy old shoe leather. Should I cut down the stems? Soak it? I will need to move it for some work next year--should I do that now and then nurse it in its new location?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:03AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Ugh...this weather is beyond horrible. The grass in full sun is crunchy, at least one shrub I transplanted this past spring has lost all its leaves, and some of the perennials that were overlooked are collapsing and have lost a significant amount of foliage. Had to do some "rescue" watering yesterday. I am simply not inspired to water as frequently as necessary to keep most things looking good. Just trying to keep things alive, and even then a few odd plants might be toast.

I have a "xeric garden" on the southwest side, that is flanked by 2 big maples. Those plants suffer a double whammy with the terrible weather and the thirsty maple roots. It is interesting to see what is doing okay under such dry conditions with little watering. I plan to rework that whole bed with only the most drought-tolerant plants.

I used to have fantasy of moving farther south to a milder climate. However, I don't know how people live with the extended heat that the southern states suffer. Would rather have winter!!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:35AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

TerreNE,

What's in your xeric garden? I've just planted a new xeric/cactus/succulent garden out front, where it's a hot and sunny southern exposure. I had a slope there forever that was so difficult to care for and to try to make look good. I finally decided to have a retaining wall built so now I have an actual front yard. I've planted cacti and other drought tolerant plants such as yucca, hesperaloe, ice plants, coreopsis and lavender and used a crushed stone mulch rather than wood chips or similar. I'll add more things and whatever plants do well will be the ones that I will add more of over time.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:18AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Bill, the stuff that is doing reasonably well in the xeric garden (i.e. not thriving, but barely wilting despite the brutal weather and very little watering) are:

Hemerocallis
Iris
Solidago (goldenrod)
Coreopsis verticillata
Asclepias tuberosa
Baptisia
Lupine
Boltonia 'Snowbank'

A few grasses too -
Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' (kind of surprising, but Gracillimus has proven to be nearly indestructible in a wide range of conditions)
Panicum amarum (not surprising, this is a native beach grass)
Panicum virgatum
Scyzachyrium scoparium

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:42AM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Is it bad that I only just now decided to water the flowerless Nikkos after reading this thread? =P I'll stand in the hot sun to water my performers, but the Nikkos will pay for their crime.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:17PM
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defrost49

I'm really sorry I bought two new perennials and put them in the ground just before this dry spell. We don't bother watering the lawn because we have a very casual yard. I would not move anything until we're well out of this dry spell. It's going to take a lot of rain. I usually use liquid fish fertilizer when I water to rescue something and when something is first transplanted. I'll probably use some this weekend.
When I use the sprinkler I'm leaving it on for 45 minutes before moving it to a new location. Usually I only use the sprinkler on weekends. Now I'm doing mid-week as well for the vegetable garden.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:30AM
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sequoia54(z6a MA)

To still lynski--it's recommended that you NOT move a peony until the month of August. I'm not entirely sure why, since bloom is long past and it can still be hot as Tophet in August. But I have done so and the plants have rebounded nicely. As for the foliage, in years past I have sometimes cut down foliage to the ground because of botyris blight, and it doesn't seem to hurt the plant one bit. I would probably be certain that it gets adequate water before you move it, since the weather is so extreme this year.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:11PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I've got a friend who works for the local water department, and he said that water usage has spiked from 1 million gallons per day up to 5 million gallons per day! Most of that water is probably being used to water lawns, which is largely a waste IMO. Trying to keep a large lawn green and lush in this weather, especially when growing cool season grasses, is just ridiculous.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:30PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

I'm only trying to keep the lawn brownish-greenish rather than 100% brown. My lawn doesn't know what lush means...something to do with alchohol perhaps??? LOL

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 4:08PM
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pixie_lou

We have a watering ban in our town. No lawn watering. No hoses. Hand watering only. Only between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM. I've been cheating - I go for my run at 6:30 AM, when I get home around 7, I then spend the next half hour lugging the watering can around to all the patio planters, front flower garden, back vegetable garden.

My neighbors pay someone to come water their gardens. Some guy drives up with a tank truck with a hose attached and waters everything for them. I've seriously considered it now that we have a total water ban in place.

Typically in the summer we have an odd/even ban. Which means I can only use the hose on odd numbered days. I haven't watered the lawn since we had it put in 3 years ago. Fortunately we didn't have a water ban in town that year. Otherwise that would have been $5K down the tubes.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 10:53PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

This thread is from last summer, but is of interest now as it heats up again.

Claire

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:49PM
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pixie_lou

I've changed my attitude about watering this year. Quite a few of my plants did not survive the winter. I don't know if it was the excessive snow, or my lack of watering last year.

Our town has an odd/even watering ban this year. But hoses are allowed from 7p-7a. So I am watering on all odd days, with my hose, after 7pm. I'm doing the vegetable garden every other day, and the perennial gardens every 4th day. I still water all my patio pots - by hand on even days and with the hose on the odd days.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:05AM
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diggerdee

This is funny - I thought this was a new, current thread, given the terrible heat we've been enduring for the past few days. Then I'm reading through, and see my name, lol! That's when it dawned on that it was an old thread.

Gee, deja vu, eh?

I've been watering pretty much every other day, some things every day. But it's too friggin' hot to go out and water today. Everything is on it's own until tomorrow morning, when hopefully it will be a bit cooler - although it was 90 degrees at 7AM this morning. Still, morning's got to be better than afternoon or even evening, so tht's when I'll go out.

Geez, I hate to think of all the water I'm using....

Dee

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 4:37PM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

My southern magnolia and crape myrtle are loving it. It was 102 today here on the south coast....child's play for my southern plants. No water needed.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 5:52PM
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deanna_in_nh(5a/4b)

rockman50, this if the first time we've lived in NH that it truly feels like the south, so I imagine your southern plants are loving it. Granted, it gets hot here a few days during the summer, especially last year and this year, but the big difference is that once the sun begins to set, up here the temperature drops. In the south the sun can set and it will be 3:00 a.m. before the humidity allows for any noticeable drop in temperature. And, let me add, noticeable doesn't mean COOL! It means you might notice that instead of a sauna you have downgraded to a hot wet bath. We love it up here when terribly hot days end up with a nice evening several degrees cooler. This heat wave, however, is different. Same southern feeling of never cooling down, being stifled. I hope your plants have a wonderful little holiday and grow a few inches during this ideal spell for them. Would be nice to think that something benefitted from this heat! I'm hoping my zinnias welcome the Mexico-ish temps and really take off, too. Very nice that you can have southern magnolia and crepe myrtle here. Southern magnolias as a tree were OK, but I sure did love the scent of those huge flowers! Really intoxicating, in a good way.

Buy some gardenias. If our summer start looking like this every year, they'd love it, too!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 6:23PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I have been watering daily, but I agree with Dee that it was too hot today to do any major watering, and only watered a few small plants here and there. However I more or less covered the plants that need some moisture in the front and back gardens in the last couple days.

My heat-loving annuals, like Zinnias, Salvia, Tropical milkweed, Morning glories, Cardinal climber, etc. are loving this heat. And they are getting big enough to withstand a little drought.

Also the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are doing great.

I wish we would get some rain though! The plants look so happy and pretty when they get rain, and everything from lawn to trees need a drink.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 9:37PM
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diggerdee

See, this is what I don't get. Unlike Terrene, I am getting almost no growth on my stuff. I've got annuals that are blooming at 6 and 8 inches tall with teeny little blooms, instead of the usual 2 1/2 feet tall they should be. My zinnias are doing nothing but sitting there, all 6 to 8 inches of them, staring back at me. I just don't get it.

Even squash, peppers and cukes aren't doing much. Tomatoes are good, and potatoes going gangbusters, but everything else is stagnant. Strange.....

Oh well, back outside to finishe watering!
Dee

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 12:44PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I got to take a break from watering today! Well not 100%, I still watered a couple containers and a few house plants. We got a half inch, maybe a little more of rain this morning. Unpredicted thunderstorms passed through. It was so nice. I hope we get some more!

Dee I wonder why your annuals are small? My perennials are a little on the small side this year, probably from the dry weather. The annuals are growing like crazy now! I've tried to keep them watered fairly regularly, also diligently applied slug bait when they were small. Once they got big enough to withstand slugs, I mulched with compost.

I'm going to have a nice sweep of Salvia this year because I stayed on top of the slugs. They are slug magnets and the past couple years it hasn't grown well. Hope to collect lots of Yvonnes Salvia seeds this year!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 6:51PM
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diggingthedirt

Terrene, is Yvonnes Salvia the giant one that people were swapping a couple of years ago on the perennial forum?

This is the first year in a long time that I have no Mexican bush sage. It's a real heat-lover and I really wish I could have found some - it would have been a great summer for it. I'll have to be content with my 'Coral Nymph' and pineapple sage, which are both loving the heat too.

2nd day of rain here - I may sneak out and start the soaker hoses to see if I can get the moisture down a little deeper - after yesterday's thunderstorms, the soil was still parched about a half inch below the mulch.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:38AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Yvonne's Salvia is a tall cultivar of Salvia splendens originated by a lady name Yvonne. It gets at least 2-3 feet tall, and taller if you get an early start, or the summer is nice and warm. I'm not sure how the seeds originally got distributed - but I got my seeds from Mskee and she would know the history. It is swapped regularly on WSing and Seed Exchange.

My Yvonnes hasn't bloomed yet, but I've got it intermixed with Salvia coccinea Lady in Red and Coral nymph, which are blooming already. The hummers love all 3 of them.

For the first time I purchased Salvia 'Black & Blue' this year and planted that in the front garden. This is an absolutely gorgeous Salvia, reputedly very difficult to start from seed. The hummers really love this plant too!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:13AM
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diggerdee

I started some Black and Blue from seed a fews years ago. Had decent germination, but the plants were kind of weak.

Having a bit of drizzle at the moment, but most likely just a tease, lol. Keep hoping the thunderstorms they keep forecasting will materialize - although now that I found out my son is going to an outdoor music festival today, I have to hope they hold off till tonight!

Dee

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:57AM
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