It’s the end of July in Raleigh, NC which means we still have more heat to beat. The “Dog Days of Summer” extend into August in this part of the South which can be a struggle for your plants. Therefore, it is important that you pay extra attention to what is going on in your garden this time of year. Specifically, keeping an eye out for drought stress in your plants is essential to their survival.
You can help your plants by watering when evaporation is at its lowest. This is easy if you have an automatic irrigation system that you can program to come on in early morning or at night. If it’s not possible for you to water in the early morning or at night, then watering late afternoon to evening is the next best option, being careful not to get the leaves wet. You just want to avoid watering in the hottest part of the day, usually mid day. Typically, watering from mid-morning to mid-afternoon is lost to evaporation before it can get into the plants which can lead to stress.
Another tip to help your plants get the most out of watering is that it is better to soak your plants a couple of times per week rather than lightly watering every day. A heavy watering or soaking will allow the water to reach the roots and encourage them to grow deeper and, in turn, establish a stronger root system. Typically, plants need to be deeply watered two to three times per week depending on how hot it is.
Wilting (sagging or limp leaves) and leaves that are brown around the edges are typical signs of drought stress in plants. However, wilting can also occur due to heat stress. Heat stress occurs when the plant transpires faster than it can take up water from the soil. So a plant may wilt even when the soil is moist. Usually this is a sign of heat stress and the plant typically recovers at the end of the day. However, continuous wilting and leaves that turn brown around the edges indicate water or drought stress. Keeping an eye out for these signs of stress and implementing a proper watering regimen will assure that your plants have a chance to make it through these long hot days of summer here in the South.
Designscapes of NC can design and install a water-wise garden or landscape for your Raleigh home. Call us at 919-844-3441 or fill out the contact form below.
We hope you are enjoying your Summer!