Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Inland Northwest, High Desert
August, 2004
Regional Report

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Containers may need watering twice a day. Poke a finger into container soil morning and night to see how it's doing.

The Word is Still "HOT"

These are the times that separate the gardeners from the backyard putterers. While we try to be Scotch with our water in these droughty times, the hottest part of summer raises plant demands for that precious commodity. Hanging baskets, vegetable gardens, and lawns need to be watched.

Containers Can't Contain Much
Some folks have said they gave up on hanging baskets because they couldn't keep up with a basket's water demands. Baskets, even more than other containers, let it all hang out. Root zones are all but exposed to scorching daytime heat, wind, and everything else summer dishes out. Baskets need water twice daily to get through August.

Other containers may fare better, especially since their roots probably aren't corralled with just a flimsy layer of moss. Still, it's a good idea to poke a finger into container soil morning and night to see how it's doing.

If you can't be there to administer water to your thirsty containers, consider a drip system connected to a timer. It's great for vacation time.

Veggies Running for the Finish Line
Help the vegetable garden finish up with a flourish. It will need a good, deep soak first thing in the morning so the soil has a chance to warm up before the cooler temperatures of evening set in. Check to see how far your water penetrates. In most gardens an hour isn't too long to leave the sprinkler on before you move it. Let the entire root zone get wet.

Lawns: Three Days and You're Out
Ed Hume of Hume Seeds says it only takes three days for a lawn to dry out. Then it takes thirty days to restore a lawn's green color. Water the lawn before you flip the flapjacks. There will be little or no wind, little heat from the sun to evaporate your precious water, and the top of the soil will be allowed to dry out before nightfall.

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