All of the plants in your yard — flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and grasses — need the same basic things for life: water, food, and light. You obviously don’t have control over the sunlight, other than pruning trees judiciously and placing shade-loving plants in shady areas, but you can definitely grow healthier plants by assisting Mother Nature with watering and feeding. The beginning of summer is an especially good time to begin paying close attention to your plants’ food and water needs.
Rainfall will generally provide all the water needed by trees and shrubs once they are well established, although it will help them get established if you provide supplemental watering during the first couple of summers after they are planted. Flowers and vegetables, however, will require watering on a continuing basis during the summer. Here are a few basic rules to follow:
- Water thoroughly when planting, allow the soil the dry out, then water regularly until the plants are established.
- In the absence of rainfall, water when the soil dries out to a depth of an inch or two. Use a soaker hose or a garden hose with a sprinkler or spray attachment to water flowerbeds or vegetable gardens. A watering can is OK for watering containers or an individual plants.
- Always water deeply, so moisture reaches the plants’ root zone. Shallow watering causes shallow roots, resulting in plants that will not survive in hot weather.
- Water early in the day, if possible, to minimize evaporation that occurs in the hot sun. Avoid watering at night, as that may encourage pests or fungus diseases.
Plants must receive nutrients to survive. All of the plants in your yard compete to absorb nutrients from the soil. By applying plant food to your plants on a regular basis, you replenish those nutrients so the plants can continue to grow and produce bountiful blooms and vegetables.
To save time and get great results, you can feed your plants using a water-soluble plant food as you water. All purpose plant food, applied with a garden feeder attached to your garden hose, goes to work instantly and feeds your plants through the leaves and the roots. The feeder mixes just the right amount of food with water for the perfect application rate every time. Feed them every 7 to 14 days, and your plants will thrive!