Help Your Garden Survive a Summer Drought

[Music] Hello! Here in my usually rainy part of the world
it’s been uncharacteristically dry – just take a look at this soil here,
it’s like dust! Coping with a summer drought is no fun, and keeping your plants quenched and happy
can feel like an ongoing struggle. Well, my fellow gardeners, don’t be a slave to the
watering can – here are a few tips for coping with drought in your garden, so
you can continue to enjoy bountiful harvests! When water is precious, it pays to be prudent. Concentrate your watering where it’s needed –
young seedlings to help them establish, leafy salads to stop them wilting, fruiting vegetables like
tomatoes, and anything growing in a pot. Using a watering can? Try two – one for each hand. It will help you balance and you’ll be able to water twice as quickly. If your water source is some distance from your beds
it also means less walking back and forth. Another option is to use a portable tank
to cart water to where it will be dispensed. A strong spray from a hose can knock
plants about, or blast potting soil out of containers. Get around this problem simply
by placing the end of the hose in a watering can so that it fills as you pour. This means you can water carefully and precisely, enjoying the convenience of a hose without wasting a drop. Watering pots from the bottom rather than the top
can save a lot of time and water in hot weather. Fill up a suitable sized reservoir, adding any liquid feed
you’d like to apply at the recommended rate. Now sink your pots into the water and
simply walk away, leaving them to soak up the liquid for an hour or more. You can speed things along by adding a splosh of water
to the top of the pot before it’s left to soak. This technique helps ensure a really thorough watering
that makes very efficient use of water. An automatic irrigation system connected
to a timer will take the strain out of watering. Set it to come on very early in the morning,
before things heat up. The best setups use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to
deliver water right at the base of plants near the roots. Some can even be fitted to water barrels, so you can make the most
of any rain water you’ve managed to collect. Drought can play havoc with seedlings, hampering
germination and causing young plants to struggle. So here are a few ideas to help. In hot dry conditions getting seeds to germinate can be tricky, particularly those of cool season crops such as lettuce. The solution is to wet the seed drill before sowing to give them the cool, moist surroundings they crave. Water along marked out drills,
allow the water to completely drain away, then fill and drain once again before you sow. Once you’re done sowing, cover the seeds back over
but don’t water again until after germination. The moisture in the drill will drain through,
encouraging the seedlings’ roots to follow. Young seedlings, and cool season crops in general, perform better under the
protection of some shading in hot summers. Prioritize shady areas for crops
that prefer cool conditions, such as salad leaves. You can use taller crops to
shade shorter ones, but in scorching weather drastic action may be needed. Shade cloth can cast just enough shade to keep your plants happy in severe heat, and it’s easily removed when the weather turns cooler. Suspend it over plants to
help them keep their cool! Mulches are a must in any summer drought, and a mulch of organic material such as compost,
leafmold or even dried grass clippings is best. This extra layer serves two purposes. It shades the soil from the sun,
helping to keep it cooler, and it acts as a barrier to the sun,
dramatically slowing evaporation. Thoroughly soak the ground
before adding your mulch – really wet the soil, and if it’s exceptionally dry, water again a few hours
later to recharge all that valuable soil moisture. Now lay the mulch so it’s at least an inch (2cm) thick. Feed it right around all your plants. Fruit trees, canes and bushes can be mulched
with chunkier materials such as bark chippings, or fibrous materials like straw. Again, take care to water well before laying it. Mulches may not be very high-tech, but
they are incredibly effective in a hot summer. I hope you found some of these
ideas handy – they’ll all save you time while ensuring your plants stay in the
best condition possible. I’m a relative newcomer to hot, dry summers, but I know a lot of you
garden all the time in a hot, dry climate so you’ve probably got some
tips that you can share. If you have, please do so by leaving them in the
comments section below. And if you found this video useful,
come on over and join our gardening gang by making sure you’re subscribed to our
video channel. I’ll catch you next time. [Music]

24 thoughts on “Help Your Garden Survive a Summer Drought

  1. A very imformitive video thanks for sharing I always use freshly cut grass clippings on my raised beds and also use it as a mulch

  2. These are all excellent tips. I am already gearing up for the Australian hot summer. My first tip is to plant vegetables into a mix that includes some half-finished compost close to the roots. That half-finished compost should contain chunky bits that hold onto water so that the plant roots will be able to draw on water as needed. If the half finished compost disappears (breaks down) during the growing period, replenish it. A second tip is to watch out for drying winds and if they are affecting your plants, set up a temporary wind shelter or move containers out of the wind. A third tip is to hose down foliage during the day if you have the opportunity, so that plants obtain some relief from the hot sun. By the way, I am a fan of watering in the evening so that plants actually get a chance to drink in the water overnight. Morning watering can mean that the water evaporates before it can be utilised by plants.

  3. Loved the video, i live in the hot south, so I always water a lot, I use mulch, care two cans like you did, collect water in a rain barrel. I also put out small buckets to collect water when it is going to rain

  4. I use unglazed Terra cotta flower pots and turn them large end down into a matching saucer. I hot glue the seam between the pot and saucer, then bury the pot as an olla. It slowly waters for me

  5. I have started using buckets with fine (fish tank air) hoses attached at the bottom. The loose ends of the hoses are anchored near the plants with a peg. Fill the bucket, the water slowly seeps out and waters only near the roots of the plants, and gives a good soaking. Any mulch can be moved temporarily out of the way, then replaced. When the bucket is empty, move the lot to another spot. With 4 or 5 buckets, I can water most of the allotment quickly, without getting splashed, careless or bored. The amount of water given at a time means that I can water less frequently, and the plants are encouraged to make deeper roots. It's not my idea, but I have been very pleased with the results this summer here in Derbyshire.

  6. We live in the hot,arrid, and dry southwest part of the US. Trying to garden here has got to be the worst part of the US to garden. It’s a beast. I use lots of home made compost when I plant anything. Then I cover the ground with three to four inches of grass clippings to help the ground keep its moisture.

  7. I live in ontario and this summer we have experienced a extreme drought when usually the temps are quite moderate …this year i mulched with leaves and clippings and also dug out a microswale to help direct and store water ..the swale proves to be very effective at keeping the water in the ground especially since my garden is sloped slightly with the swale at the top of the garden storing water and moving it down slope.

  8. Another winner! I really liked your ideas of putting the hose down into the watering can to prevent multiple trips back and forth to fill them up and also of creating some sort of portable tank. Both ideas are handy step-savers and could help to keep me from wilting in the heat right along with my plants. Here in Kentucky, USA, our summers have always tended to be hot. The last few years, however, have been especially brutal. After planting, I like to surround the new plants (or planting site) with straw mulch. It is very effective in shading the soil, keeping moisture in, keeping weeds out, and helping to prevent soil splash-back when watering to keep down the incidence of fungal and other soil-borne diseases. In addition, as it breaks down, it adds nutrients to the soil. The beds in which I put straw last winter when I put my garden to bed, so to speak, have kept them weed-free all year, so far. When I'm ready to plant, I just push aside the straw in the spot where I am planting and then draw it back close to the planting site when I've finished.

  9. Trick I've learned about mulching with straw. Straw molds easily – even while sitting in stock at your local feed supply stores. Once it does, they are stuck and cannot sell it for livestock use … but, you can offer to take all their molded straw off their hands for bargain basement prices and it makes for a "win-win" situation all the way around: they can still recover some of their costs so their investment isn't a total loss …. and you get straw for mulching at bargain-basement prices. Otherwise, they simply have to dispose of it. Also, many years ago, I read the "Ruth Stout no-work gardening book." She recommended simply laying down a full flake of straw mulch, straight off the bale: with costs less (moldy straw tip, above) AND vastly increased thickness to prevent evaporation and preserve soil moisture, you'll have a fantastic garden with FAR less watering. It works like magic; blocks weeds, is far less labor, you'll get a great crop, and it is a 'green' product in general that doesn't require chemicals of any kind while using less water, a precious resource these days. In fact, on the bottom of the flake of straw that is in contact with moist earth, it will decompose and create even richer, higher nutrient soil underneath for next year's crop!

  10. Thank you for once again sharing fantastic tips. We will be utilizing drip irrigation in our fall veggie beds.
    Just curious, what is that container you have under the one rain barrel? We are getting ready to set our system up and that looks like a great way to raise it up to get more pressure. Is it a terra cotta or plastic pot? TIA

  11. I recycle plastic creamer containers and water bottles. Place a few small holes around the bottle then bury the container in the garden. I just fill with water. And place the cap back on so there is no evaporation. Works well and less leaf mold and blight.

  12. Thanks for sharing. We have dry dust here too. Not dirt . lol I love using and collecting rain water as much as I can for my garden. It's so tough in the summer gardening in containers. I'm watering 3 times a day right now sometimes.

  13. Bro I see each and every video of your channel it's really helpful this is my first time I am commenting on your video.I live in central India and usually here 9 month is summer type of condition. So I use polythene to cover the upper surface of land near any plant or shrubs it really helpful to maintain moisture you can also try. And people who have not enough water they also can use it.

  14. One of the first things that I learnt when moving to the dry tropics was that "Full Sun" on a packet doesn't always actually work well here. It's often written for those in temperate climates 🙂

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