Water is essential for plant survival


It seems that every time I write about how dry it is or about the fact that you need to water your plants, it’s rained before my column is published.

So go ahead Mother Nature, rain rain rain. I don’t care if this column is worthless or redundant or not necessary. Please, rain.

Our area is in the midst of a moderate drought. I am learning from colleagues that parts of the Midwest are in the same situation and others, like northern Kentucky close to Marietta, are really just fine with soil moisture.

We are in a position, that without rain, we could experience plant damage.

I don’t tend to water everything in my landscape, just the priority plants. And right now, the priorities for watering are the vegetable garden and my newly planted trees and shrubs as well as recently planted perennials.

Of course, my container plants are getting watered on a regular basis so I don’t include these in the category of “must have water now or else.”

Newly-planted landscape plants have not developed adequate root systems to withstand prolonged dry periods. This applies to plants that were put in the ground sometime in the last three to five years.

Perennials are typically shallow-rooted in their early years and need to have additional irrigation during dry spells. Water these.

I don’t usually water my established perennial beds in the summer unless they get to this point.

The same thing applies to my annual flowers. Once they are established, I don’t water them unless they are not going to make it without supplemental irrigation.

In the vegetable garden, I mentioned in a column earlier this year about how critical it is to water these plants when the vegetables are beginning to form.

If you want those wonderful thick-walled bell peppers, water is essential.

When you water, do it the right way to get the most out of it. Soak the plants, don’t just turn the sprinkler on for an hour and walk away.

Either use a rain gauge to determine the amount of water delivered to the plants or get your hands dirty and actually dig down and check the soil.

My rule of thumb is to water thoroughly less often. Therefore, I really soak the root of the plants and don’t have to do it again for a little while.

For instance, I sometimes leave the sprinkler on the perennials for at least four hours.

Of course, soaker hoses are even better to deliver the water right to the plant roots, but if you don’t have them, overhead sprinklers are better than nothing.

I truly hope that as you are reading this you are thinking that I am crazy and what was I thinking about when I came up with this topic!


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Pedestrian hit by car in Dayton not in crosswalk, police say
Pedestrian hit by car in Dayton not in crosswalk, police say

A pedestrian was taken to Miami Valley Hospital tonight with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said. Police and medics were called around 9:40 p.m. to the 300 block of Wyoming Street near Alberta Street in Dayton. The man who was struck by a car was not in a crosswalk when he was hit, police said. The driver of the car was not cited,...
Centerville to compile list of volunteers to rake leaves, shovel snow
Centerville to compile list of volunteers to rake leaves, shovel snow

Centerville is compiling a list of individuals, groups and organizations willing to volunteer to help the elderly and disabled city residents with leaf and snow removal, according to a release. The list will be maintained by the city staff and will be available to residents. The city will also maintain a list of individuals and companies that perform...
Downed power lines blamed for power outages in Montgomery, Greene
Downed power lines blamed for power outages in Montgomery, Greene

Collapsed power lines -- because of an equipment failure in one location and fallen trees in another -- knocked out power to an estimated 238 Dayton Power & Light customers Monday afternoon. Crews are on scene at both sites and electric service for those affected areas is expected to be restored between 9:30 and 10 p.m., said Kelly Millhouse, DP&L...
State awards Wright State University $538K for virtual-reality job training
State awards Wright State University $538K for virtual-reality job training

Wright State University has won a $538,563 state award to buy virtual-reality equipment for workforce development.  This equipment will help teach everything from anatomy to science and engineering. The Ohio Department of Education approved the funding for the workforce development award that will enable the university to purchase displays that...
Some will get complimentary entries for 2019 & 2020 Air Force Marathons
Some will get complimentary entries for 2019 & 2020 Air Force Marathons

An estimated 500 participants in this year's Air Force Marathon who couldn't finish the race because of the heat will be offered a complimentary entry into either the 2019 or 2020 event, race Director Brandon Hough said in an email to participants Monday. The offer does not apply to participants who dropped out of the event, Hough said in the email...
More Stories