Everything Is Getting Parched!

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder
en Español

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A couple weeks ago I did an article on when to water plants. Watering plants at this wiltedzucchinitime is essential in maintaining plant health. I am starting to get calls on plant damage that is caused by the weather as the hot, dry days continue for most of our area.

The first, obvious sign that a plant is under water stress is wilting, particularly herbaceous plants like vegetables and annuals. Wilting can be easily corrected by watering, unless the plant has reached the point of no return. Watering in the morning insures that water is available to the plant during the heat of the day.

One of the problems associated with water stressed plants is blossom end rot on vegetables. If plants are allowed to dry out to the point of wilting and then over watered, the fruit will start to rot on the ends. A consistent water supply will help insure that blossom end rot is kept to a minimum.

Sometimes plants will still wilt even if plenty of water is available. Vascular diseases prevent or slow the movement of water in the plant and may, eventually, kill the plant. Vegetable plants with vascular diseases should be eliminated from the garden.

Someone brought in a maple limb where the shoots were dying. In this case, the tree was not able to keep up with the water loss during the hot days. The same can be true of other trees like Leyland cypress.

Mulch should be added over the root system of trees and shrubs in order to minimize heat stress. A two to three-inch layer maintains moisture around plants so that supplemental watering can be kept to a minimum