Help! My Flowers Are Struggling In This Nashville Heat!
20 tips and tricks to save money on water but keeping the flowers alive and looking good!
Flowers need water to live, just like any other plant. In hot weather, it’s especially important to make sure they’re getting enough water and not struggling since they can easily dry out in the heat. There are a few ways to make sure your flowers get the water they need without spending a lot of money on irrigation systems.
Here are 20 tips and tricks to save money on water but keep the flowers alive and looking good!
1) Don’t overwater your plants.
Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean they need more water. In fact, too much water can actually harm your plants by causing root rot. Check the soil before watering and only give them as much as they need.
If you overwater your plants, they will start to wilt. This is a sign that they are getting too much water and it’s time to cut back.
2) Water in the morning or evening.
Water evaporates quickly in the heat of the day, so it’s best to water your plants in the morning or evening.
Timers can help make sure you don’t forget. Good choices for timers include the Orbit B-hyve and the Rain Bird ST8I-2.0.
3) Use mulch.
Mulch helps retain moisture and keeps the roots of your plants cooler. Mulch also prevents evaporation, so you’ll need to water your plants less often.
If you have clay soil, mulch also helps with drainage. Good drainage prevents waterlogged roots, which can lead to fungal diseases.
For assistance with mulching, or suggestions on how to apply it for your yard, Turf Managers can help with that.
4) Group plants together.
Groups of plants will create microclimates that can help protect individual plants from heat. A good grouping consists of taller plants in the center and shorter plants around the outside.
Taller plants are best on the inside because they provide shade for the shorter plants. Shorter plants on the outside can take advantage of the reflected heat from taller plants to regulate their temperatures.
This can all be part of a landscaping design to create a beautiful oasis in your own backyard. If you have questions, feel free to call the professionals at Turf Managers to help you plan your landscaping needs.
5) Choose heat-tolerant plants.
If you’re starting a garden from scratch, choose plants that are known to be heat-tolerant. Some examples include daylilies, black-eyed Susans, and lavender.
Other heat-tolerant plants include impatiens, marigolds, petunias, and zinnias. Succulents are also a good choice because they store water in their leaves and can withstand long periods of drought.
6) Don’t fertilize in the heat.
Fertilizing can stress plants that are already struggling in the heat. Wait until cooler weather to fertilize your plants. If you’re not sure if it’s a good time to fertilize, you can always hire professionals, like our team at Turf Managers, to make sure your plants get the best care.
Fertilizer can also damage your plants in the heat because it can burn their roots. To prevent that from happening, the best time to use fertilizer is early in the morning or late in the evening.
7) Keep an eye on your plants.
Check them regularly for signs of stress, such as wilting leaves or dry soil. Take action quickly if you see these signs.
Wilting leaves can indicate that your plant is not getting enough water. If the leaves are dry and brittle, that means your plant is getting too much water.
Moisture meters can help you know when to water your plants. They’re especially useful in the heat because it can be difficult to tell when the soil is dry just by looking at it.
8) Move potted plants inside.
Potted plants are more susceptible to heat than plants in the ground. If possible, move them inside or into a shady spot outdoors.
If you’d rather keep potted plants outside, then you must water them more often. They dry out faster in the heat, so you’ll need to check them daily and water as needed.
To help you remember to water them, consider setting alarms on your phone to remind you. The best time to water potted plants is in the morning or evening.
9) Protect seedlings with shade cloth.
Seedlings are especially vulnerable to heat. Cover them with a light-colored shade cloth to protect them from the sun.
Shade cloth is available in different weights. The lighter the weight, the more light that will be able to pass through.
10) Avoid using pesticides.
Pesticides can stress plants and make them more susceptible to the heat. If you must use them, choose products that are labeled “safe for use in hot weather.”
Other options to act as pest deterrents include:
- neem oil
- insecticidal soap
- horticultural oil
11) Don’t prune in the heat.
If you live in Central Tennessee, then you know the heat can be brutal. Pruning puts stress on plants, so it’s best to wait until cooler weather to prune your plants. If you must prune in the heat, then the best time to do it is in the morning.
To minimize stress on the plants, you can also prune them in stages. Prune a little bit now and then wait a week or two before pruning again.
12) Don’t walk on wet soil.
Wet soil is more likely to compact, which can damage plant roots. Wait until the soil is dry before walking on it.
If you’re not sure if the soil is truly dry, you can test it by sticking your finger into the soil. The soil is dry if it feels cool to the touch.
13) Don’t let your plants get too dry.
Dry plants are more susceptible to heat stress and damage. Water them regularly, especially during periods of extended heat.
You can tell a plant is dry if the leaves are wilting or the soil is dry and crumbly.
14) Consider using a drip irrigation system.
Drip irrigation systems can help you water your plants more efficiently. Examples of drip irrigation include soaker hoses and drip lines.
Drip irrigation systems can save you time and water because they deliver water directly to the roots of the plants. They’re also less likely to cause leaf diseases because the leaves don’t stay wet for long periods of time.
15) Use containers with drainage holes.
Make sure your plant’s container has drainage holes. This will help ensure that the roots don’t stay wet for too long.
If you’re not sure if your container has drainage holes, you can check by feeling around the bottom of the pot. If you can’t find any holes, then drill some yourself.
16) Check for leaks.
Leaks can waste a lot of water, so it’s important to check your hoses and irrigation system for leaks. You can tell you have a leak if you see water puddling on the ground or running down the street.
Water is a precious resource, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you’re using. Try to use only as much as you need to keep your plants healthy.
17) Adjust your sprinklers.
Make sure your sprinklers are only watering the plants and not the sidewalk or street. You can do this by adjusting the spray heads.
You should also check your sprinklers regularly to make sure they’re working properly. A broken sprinkler can waste a lot of water.
18) Use a rain barrel.
Collecting rainwater in a barrel is a great way to save water. You can use the water to water your plants during dry periods.
There may be regulations against water collection, so be sure to check with your local government before setting up a rain barrel.
19) Use greywater.
Greywater is wastewater from household activities such as washing dishes or laundry. It can be used to water your plants, as long as it’s properly filtered first.
However, don’t use water that’s been contaminated with chemicals, such as water from a swimming pool. This type of water can harm your plants.
20) Check your local water restrictions.
Many areas have water restrictions in place during periods of drought. Be sure to check your local regulations before watering your plants.
To comply with water restrictions and keep your plants healthy, you can:
- water in the morning or evening when it’s cooler
- use a drip irrigation system
- water deeply but less frequently
Following these tips will help you save water and keep your plants healthy during periods of extended heat. If you’d like some help or want to talk with the pros, give our Nashville area team at Turf Managers a call or send an email.