Gardening in a Heat Wave

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When the summer heat cranks up it is tempting to add water, but this is not necessarily what the plants need. On average, vegetables need about one-inch of water per week. During a heat wave (over 90 degrees F) it may be necessary to water daily or every other day but check the soil first.

Before adding water to the garden, insert your finger one to two inches into the soil and check for moisture. If the soil is wet, wait to add water. A layer of straw mulch, several inches thick can be added to the garden in advance of a heat wave to keep the roots cooler. Ensure plants have enough water before the heat wave.

It is best to water as early as possible in the morning to reduce the amount of
evaporation. Drip irrigation is the best option, but regardless of the method it is
important to keep water off the leaves and close to the soil.

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