Mitch Baker: Hi! I am Mitch Baker with American Plant and we are talking about great gardening tips for July. Now let's talk about watering. Watering may be one of the few things we have controlled over during the summer months. But we want to use water wisely. That means selecting plants that are also water wise, plants that don't require that much water. But we want to make sure we are using water properly during the hot summer months. Now I am using a water wand here also called a water breaker to reduce the pressure of the water. But still allow full volume of water. We want to get that water right to the base of the plants, so we can see it's soaking into the root system. So that we know we are getting maximum use of that water through the summer months. Mulch is a great way to conserve moisture in our flower beds as long as it's properly applied. We just want to have an inch-and-a-half to two inches of mulch to get all the benefit of mulch, conserving moisture suppressing weeds and moderating soil temperature. Any more than that is no addition benefit. Also we are using the soaker hose back here, another great method of delivering water efficiently to our plants. We can target the delivery of water, keep it in a confined area with very little evaporation.
The lawns really take a beating during the hot summer months. And this is an indication of some of that summer stress where we were starting to get some browning in the lawn. Setting the mower to its highest setting 3, 3.
5 even 4 inches high will help reduce evaporation, shade the soil surface and reduce some of the stress that we see on our lawns during the summer. Gator bag or tree gators are another way to efficiently deliver water to newly planted trees. And that's the key, these are effective only on newly planted trees where the root system is contained with in the area of the bag itself. And the first generation tree gator or gator bag was a cone shape bag about 20 gallons of water and delivered slowly just dripping out of the bottom of the bag. But I like the newer lower profile 15 gallon bags. Same method of delivering water out of a couple of weep holes on the bottom of the bag. And that water in that bag will last five days of so before it has to be refilled. First I would water the tree well then fill the bag and allow that to maintain moisture in the soil. The thing I don't like about gator bags like this is if they are left on the tree during the summer without actually using them, they may form a barrier to natural rain fall. So if you are going to use them make sure you fill them regularly.
So remember, watering is the most important aspect of summer gardening. If done properly, your lawn and garden will stay cool and look great all season long. Next we'll talk about mosquito control.