Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hot and Dry

There has been incredible heat and very little rain these past couple weeks in Ottawa, this means our schools gardens need even more attention to make sure they stay nice and cool. While you may be tempted to go out to water ten times a day, remember, watering deeply and not so often, rather than little and very often, is best. In dry soil, young roots will travel deep down to find reserves of moisture, but plants that are watered often (but not deeply) will only send out shallow, surface roots that aren't as strong in dry times. That being said, many GUO gardens are in raised beds, where depth is limited! Not sure if the garden needs water? Grab a handful of soil and squeeze it: if it sticks together, no need to water, but overwise if it falls through your fingers, water, water, water!Here are some tips for watering during a drought:

Water slowly at the base of plants, not the foliage, this encourages root growth. 

Water in the morning when temperatures are cooler. In the heat of mid-day, water will evaporate too fast to reach deep into the soil.

Beans need the most water out of all garden vegetables, up to a half inch of water per day!

Carrots, beets and potatoes require consistent moisture.

Zucchinni and winter squash, need water most when they are flowering and fruiting (which should be now for zucchinis!). 

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