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July 6th, 2010

We’re having a bit of a heat wave here in NE Ohio. In addition to being hot, it’s pretty humid, which isn’t a good combination. We have some weather like this each year, but this year seems to be particularly bad. Normally our hot temps come in late July or Aug, hopefully it isn’t this hot until then.

On top of the heat, it’s been pretty dry here as well, so the gardens are getting a little wilted. That means lots of watering. It’s a good thing I have those rain barrels to keep me from using so much city water. Not to mention the plants like it better, no chlorine.

I always enjoy using a watering can to water, but when it gets this hot everything needs a lot of water and I just don’t have the time. Last summer Mr Chiots installed a water pump on my rain barrels so I could use a sprinkle or hose. It’s quite nice and it sure saves me a lot of time when it comes to watering, although not as good for building biceps.

I enjoy watering in the evening, I always feel like the water has a chance to soak in and the plants can drink before the sun starts beating down on them. Some people say you should water in the morning. In my mind I think evenings are more natural. Often on hot humid days thunderstorms pop up in late afternoons, so nature often waters in the evenings. I’ve never had issues with mildew or any of the issues that are mentioned for avoiding evening watering.

When do you like to water your garden?

30 Comments to “It’s HOT, HOT, HOT”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: It’s HOT, HOT, HOT #weather #watering […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention It’s HOT, HOT, HOT | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  2. Mangochild on July 6, 2010 at 6:19 am

    I try to check the weather forecast first – if there is a big thunderstorm or a soaking rain, I’ll hold off a bit and let nature do its thing. But usually I water every day in the early evening. For the veg/plants that need less water, it’ll be every other day, but same time.

    I was a bit unhappy when, after coming back from a trip over this holiday weekend to find the garden begging for water. We’re in the high 90* path here, and have been for the past 5 days or so. Combined with the bright sunshine – well, thinking about how I’d feel standing out in that weather, seeing the garden when I returned made my heart sink. Sadly, many herbs were drying out and withering. I hope the good soaking I gave them will help.

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    • Susy on July 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

      Sometimes I’ll water right before a big thunderstorm, if looks like a gully washer. I’ll make sure the top of the soil is moist so it absorbs more water. If it’s going to be a soaking rain I don’t.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Teresia on July 6, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Anytime I can spend in the garden is good… but, since I work outside the home too, I usually water in the evening. I have never had a problem with fungus or anything either. And I share your point of view about the plants getting a good drink before the sun wants to bake them again.
    I am in Eastern Central Indiana.. so I am sharing your pain on the high heat and humidity. This is more like August weather for us too.
    I have 5 rain barrels, for a total of 250 gallons, and since we haven’t had any rain for a while, they are getting a little low on water.
    I am gonna run outside and do a rain dance,(in my pink fuzzy slippers) and see if I can conjour up some rain for us.

    Reply to Teresia's comment

    • Susy on July 6, 2010 at 9:11 am

      It’s amazing how quickly those rain barrels empty in weather like this. I have 7-55 gallon barrels in my system and I sometimes feel like I could use 7 more.

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  4. kristin @ going country on July 6, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I don’t. It’s too freaking big. Things live or die by Mother Nature’s will. Though the irrigation canals my husband played around with last year were pretty cool. We haven’t done that this year though, and now it’s too late–the ground is too dry and everything has grown too big.

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  5. kitsapFG on July 6, 2010 at 8:49 am

    During the weekdays it is the evenings because I work and do not get home until around 6 pm. On weekends, I watered in the morning and in the evening, as needed and as I am available. I break my watering up and do a section of the garden at a time. With a big push I can do the entire garden in two days time. Other times I do smaller bits and it takes four or five days to get through the whole thing. I use rain water and a large watering can to do all of the container plantings but use seep irrigation and an overhead sprinkler for the rest of the garden beds.

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  6. Tree on July 6, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Its been Hot, Hot, Hot here in Western New York. Started on Saturday and was almost unbearable yesterday (97), I couldn’t bike in this morning. I could barely breath for the walk to the bus, so I wouldn’t have made it in on my bike.

    I have air at work, so I end up freezing, but the fam has to make do with iced drinks and fans…

    I was always told by my grandfather (a farmer and green house operator) that you water at dawn or after dinner. That way the sun isn’t evaporating the water from the soil or boiling your plant roots.

    I like to water early and late.

    Reply to Tree's comment

    • victoria on July 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      I do both as well, there’s something special about starting & ending my day in the garden….this has been such a busy year that soaker hoses and timers have been helping too…now i just have to remember to get off the deck when the evening sprinkler gives the herbs & tomatoes a drink :)

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  7. Mom on July 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I usually water the vegetable garden, etc. in the evenings. My mom (your grandmother) and my paternal grandmother (your great-grandmother) did their watering in the evenings as well. I used to help them when I was a kid.

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  8. Mary W on July 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I try to water the garden plot at work in the evenings, but when I’m not around most club-mates only have time at lunch. It makes me cringe a little, but some water at the wrong time of day is better than none. I’ve found thunderstorms to be a very unreliable source of water, so unless it’s raining on me, I water.

    Reply to Mary W's comment

  9. Miranda on July 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I like to water first thing in the morning. Ideally, i’d like to water at night = but i’m sleeping then. Ha. I have soaker hoses set up as well as a big watering can to utilize my water barrel water. Before the puppy took over my life, my ever 2nd or 3rd day in mid summer routine involved waking with the sun (okay, more like an hour after the sun) and turning on the various soaker hoses while supplementing with rain water. Usually takes me an hour to get everything watered. We’ve had some great rain the last few days, so i’m holding out on my watering until things start looking sad again. Amazing though: this time last year ALL my tomato plants were dead. We’d already had a month of record highs, and it’s only been inthe 90s this year! Too bad the stink bugs and leaf footed bugs are destroying all my beautiful tomato fruits that are still producing.

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  10. Turling on July 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I’ve never fully understood the “rule” of watering only in the morning. It rains whenever it feels like it, not just in the morning, so wouldn’t the plants have figured out how to overcome this problem? We water potted plants in the evenings when I get home from work while enjoying a cocktail. In the upcoming weeks, when temperature regularly hit the triple digits, we’ll water in the morning, as well, as needed.

    Irrigation goes off between 3 am and 4:30 am. That gives the water several hours to do its thing and doesn’t interupt my 5 am shower with bouts of cold water. Priorities, after all.

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  11. Julia on July 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I’m having the same problem in my garden. I’m watering morning and night because I don’t seem to water long enough at any one time to properly soak the soil. They say you’re supposed to get the water saturation down 6-8 inches into the soil

    Reply to Julia's comment

    • Susy on July 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Yes, it’s difficult to water deep enough. I like to water really well one evening and then the following evening as well. I find this helps the water seep in deeply. If I do this I only have to water every week or 10 days. Except the raised beds which dry out much quicker than the in ground garden.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Kjirsti on July 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I’m glad to hear this. I’ve also heard you should water in the morning, but I just prefer watering in the evening. It’s such a wonderful way to wind down and reflect. I did have a few problem with mildew on some yellow squash right after we had those several days of thunder storms, but since its warmed up and dried out the problem seems to have gone away. I keep thinking maybe I’ll get some decent peppers and eggplant this year with all this heat.

    Reply to Kjirsti's comment

  13. MAYBELLINE on July 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Greetings from Hell:

    Okay. Your “hot” temps are kindergarten. Here are a few tips from a hardened resident of Hell.
    1. Water in the morning. Your plants have all day to thrive on the moisture and you have less chance of fungus.
    2. Water in the morning. If your plants are wilted at the end of the day, they will perk up in the morning when you water.
    3. Water in the morning. An automatic drip system allows you to sleep in a few minutes longer.
    4. Water in the morning. Set the timer on your system to be finished before you shower, do laundry, etc.
    5. Water in the morning. It’s the most efficient use of your water resources. Trust me on this one.

    Here in Hell, I irrigate (automatically) in the morning. As the temperature increases, the length of time increases as well – but I never irrigate in the afternoon or evening.

    Hope you endure. I do hope you have air conditioning. It’s the best invention man ever made.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Miranda on July 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      haha – my sentiments exactly. Wish i had an automatic sprinkling/timer system – but the oven timer helps me out a GREAT deal. How many times have i been sitting here and suddenly leaping straight up out of my chair 2 hours after turning the soaker hoses onto the gourd patch? At least once – now i never turn on water without also setting the oven timer.

      Reply to Miranda's comment

  14. Amy on July 6, 2010 at 11:02 am

    We’re finally getting our summer weather here in Western WA starting this week. It’s been in the 60s, mostly (yesterday may have hit 70), but today will be 81, tomorrow and the next couple of days in the 90s. Our garden has needed this sun and warmth (long overdue), but that will mean watering is totally necessary. I prefer to water in the evenings, but we have too much to water by hand, so we use an overhead sprinkler with our well water. I love that “snick snick snick” sound at dusk. :D

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  15. Joshua on July 6, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Here in eastern TN, I am having a hell of a time with fungal blight of all sorts. Early blight on my tomatoes; something turned my beans entirely to mush; my strawberries have purple spots on the leaves. It’s a sad state, but like you, I water in the evening. One reason is that my watering system, a single impact sprinkler covering about 1000 square feet of garden, takes about 9-12 hours to put down an inch of water. I typically run the sprinkler all night, one or two nights a week if it doesn’t rain. I’m concerned about the effect the night-time watering might be having on the fungus and mold, but honestly not much seems to be deterring them, so I guess I’ll water away!

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  16. Eleanor on July 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    It’s HOT here in New Hampshire, too, and there’s a lot of wilting going on. I usually water in the evening, because that’s when I have time, after work. When I’m home during the day, I switch it up and try to water in the morning but, I agree, my efforts seem to evaporate pretty quickly. For now, I’m adding mulch like crazy.

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  17. sarah on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I try to water early evening or early in the morning. The heat does not bother me (we do not have the humidity you have but have experienced it – that would be really hard for me) The heat sure can take a toll on the plants though. Do your veggies love the heat & humidity?? I’d imagine it would be a hot house for them. Keep cool – I love to sit by the kids while they are in the kiddie pool and take advantage of the splashes! :)

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  18. Morgan G on July 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    In a crazy turn of events, it rained here in California this morning! Typically, I really enjoy watering in the evening as well. I’ll do it after dinner; if I plan it right, I can water and catch a sunset at the same time.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  19. Laura on July 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I prefer to water in the early morning before it gets too hot. I can barely make it from my car to the house when it is so hot in the late afternoons/evenings.

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  20. mamaraby on July 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    When I remember? (I really am a terribly lackadaisical gardener)

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  21. Lexa on July 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I am a member of team “water in the evening”. That said, it is mostly because I am way too lazy to get up early. And when you water in the evening I do think the plants have all night to soak it up before any evaporates the next day.

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  22. Annie on July 6, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Well, if we aren’t home, our system is set to run at 11 pm. It is still in the high 70’s here in Northern California at that time. But, if I am home, I like to water by hand. Takes some time, but in the evening, things soak in rather quickly.
    I have loved reading everyone’s insight!

    Reply to Annie's comment

  23. Sta on July 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Evenings are best for me – it’s easier on me and I like to think that it gives the plants a chance to cool down and get a good long drink before the hot sun comes up again the next day…..

    Reply to Sta's comment

    • Sta on July 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Oddly, I realized I had JUST posted to my own blog about my unintentionally “fried” green tomatoes….

      Reply to Sta's comment

  24. Dan on July 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I water at night as well. I thinking the whole water in the morning came from older gardeners, I just can’t get up at the crack of dawn :-)

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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