This sprawling, shallow carrot root system was obviously
not on a regular watering schedule.
I have mentioned it a few times this summer – if you are going to have healthy productive plants, you must keep your garden on a strict watering schedule. Water deeply to ensure that roots grow down into the ground, not sprawling along the surface like this carrot (pictured above) that I pulled out of my mother’s garden (she is so afraid of wasting water.)
If you water sporadically, allowing plants to wilt and swell, they will buckle – your tomatoes will split and crack if they ever manage to ripen at all. Your gourds and melons will ripen off early, producing tiny little fruits. Your greens will wilt and scorch.
Summer Watering tips:
- Try using a soaker or drip hose in your garden – sprinklers tend to only give a superficial watering, and they leave your foliage wet which might lead to fungus. (Sprinklers are perfect for lawns, but not for vegetables).
- Make up a regular watering schedule, and keep it – start out with two waterings a week, and adjust with the weather. If you are getting plenty of rain, water less frequently – If it is near a hundred every day and you haven’t seen a drop in weeks, you may want to water 3 or 4 times a week.
- Use a water soluble fertilizer with every other watering to grow strong resilient plants that will be more hardy to climate changes.
- Use mulch to regulate soil moisture levels, weeds, and temperature.
- Pull competing weeds and grass – ensure that your garden plants are benefiting from your hard work, not mooching, unwanted interlopers.
- Keep harvesting and dead-heading throughout the summer to keep your plants vigorous and productive.