Summer Watering Tips

Summer is just around the corner.

For some of us that means some “Dog Days” ahead. For others, maybe not so bad. But one thing that is certain is that most of our country has been faced with drought issues for a few years now. From the Southwest to the Southeast, the presence of rain has been scarce.

In the U.S., 7.8 billion gallons of water are used daily for outdoor use, primarily for gardening and landscaping. These are staggering numbers.  
For those of us who like to maintain our lawns and gardens, there are a few things we can do to keep our yards looking great and, more importantly, conserve water.
Planting Tips
  • Use native plants to your area.
  • Choose low-water grass types.
  • Plant trees and shrubs to slow erosion and cool down the area.
Irrigation Tips
  • Hand watering is not very efficient.
  • Drip & Micro Spray Irrigation is best for all plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees.
  • Watering early in the morning is best.
  • Water the lawn, not the pavement, by adjusting the sprinklers.
  • Chemical fertilizers speed up the growth of lawns, not using them means less to water.
  • Raise the cut length of your mower. Taller grass shades the roots and promotes healthier turf & requires less watering.
  • Do not puddle the water by over-watering. Water less time and more often to give it time to soak in if you have harder soil types.
Use these great tips this summer and watch your lawn and garden flourish.
Remember, Mister Landscaper believes in conserving our most precious natural resource. It shows in every product we sell.
Join the discussion... Have you used these tips? Do you have any tips of your own? 
Reminder... April is our Blog Comment Contest. The winner of our contest will receive a fabulous Canon digital camera and a Mister Landscaper kit. All you have to do is leave a comment on any April blog post. The winner will be determined by the number of comments each contestant leaves. Each comment will represent one entry for our random drawing. Here is more information and a picture of the prizes.
Good luck to all! 


4/14/2012 8:56 AM
Am getting ready to install additional landscaping in my yard to create a privacy buffer.  Any suggestions for websites where I can find plants native to my area that will be drought tolerant as well?
4/14/2012 8:57 AM
I'm really looking forward to seeing how my tomatoes do this year with even, consistent watering using Mister Landscaper instead of the irregular, inconsistent hand watering I've done in the past.  I think that has really cut into my yield and led to a lot of split fruit.

The hot, dry summers we have here in NC would leave my tomato plants wilted by the end of the day, forcing me to water them in the evening, which can lead to disease problems.  When the heat arrives, I can set the timer to water every 12 hours (6am & 6pm) to keep the soil from drying out during the day without having to worry about wet leaves overnight.
4/14/2012 10:00 PM
@ Richard C; mulch will help tremendously with your toms, even in containers. The toms will require less watering as the mulch helps hold in moisture

@ bellam;
4/14/2012 11:52 PM
Along the same lines as raising your mower blade height, using a mulcher fitting can also add natural mulch to your lawn by chopping up grass clippings finer and leaving them on the ground as you mow. Even better in the fall when leaves are all over the ground. Instead of raking them, put the mulcher attachment on the mower to grind the leaves into smaller pieces and let them stay on the lawn and decay. Adds nutrients and acts as a mulch.
4/14/2012 11:55 PM
@RichardC, I've always heard that it is better to water plants slowly and deeply once or twice a week rather than watering lightly every day or so. I'm also in NC and use pine straw as mulch around my tomato plants, water deeply twice a week, and don't have problems with wilting in the afternoon sun. Container plants, on the other hand, I have to water almost 2-3 times per day because they dry out so quickly.

@bellam, check with your county cooperative extension agents. They should be able to help you identify some good candidates for native privacy buffers. I live in NC and had never taken the opportunity to utilize the cooperative extension office locally until I decided to step into their building earlier this year, and they had pamphlets and brochures on almost anything you could ever imagine related to gardening.
4/15/2012 12:29 PM
Am getting ready to install additional landscaping in my yard to create a privacy buffer.  Any suggestions for websites where I can find plants native to my area that will be drought tolerant as well?
4/15/2012 6:53 PM
@bellam -- what area are you from? The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service offers this page on "Drought-Tolerant Plants for North Carolina Landscapes"

On the site, you can pick what size shrubs you are wanting to plant based on how tall you want your privacy buffer.
4/16/2012 9:53 AM
I've barely noticed any increase in water usage or cost after adding mr.L all over my back yard.  Probably 30+ dippers and sprayers.
4/17/2012 7:34 AM

Here is a very useful website:
You can put in your state and they'll tell you not only the native plants but also the invasive ones.

Good luck!

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 7:36 AM

Looking forward to hearing how your tomatoes do! Sounds like you have a pretty good system going on.

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 7:37 AM

Yep, mulch helps a lot! Thanks for the reminder--and the link.

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 7:38 AM

Great advice on the mulcher attachment! We have lots of trees on our property, which means lots of leaves. We may just use this idea.

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 7:40 AM
Oh, and you're right with the cooperative extension programs. They are an especially useful resource, @computeraddict04.

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 7:41 AM
Great to hear! Keep us posted on your progress.

MrL Blog Manager
4/17/2012 9:11 AM
I have used all of the tip plus I will add one, Convert you inground irigation to a drip/spray system using the Mr. L converter saved lots of water!
4/17/2012 3:09 PM
Thank you for all the suggestions.  I'm in Northeast Ohio and am looking for resources like you've suggested for this region.
4/17/2012 11:54 PM
Cooperative Extension can also test your soil to find exactly which plants will do well in your area.
4/21/2012 9:33 AM
I have recently installed mister landscaper Micro drip irrigation system in my vegetable garden,and I am very amazed to see how well my tomatoes and peppers are doing.The system is so easy to install. Thanks mister landscaper! A great product!
4/21/2012 9:35 AM
What are some good types of native plants I can use with low watering?
4/21/2012 9:38 AM
Your great invention of micro irrigation is awesome! My vegetables this year are 100% healthier than last year because of your product. Thanks!
4/21/2012 9:43 AM
Since I started to water early a.m I realized my lawn and garden is looking much better.   Thanks for the great advice!
4/21/2012 9:45 AM
Mr.landscaper makes my life's easier and better my helping me save money on water using micro drip irrigation system.
4/21/2012 9:48 AM
I thought all irrigation systems were doing the same thing,untill I started to use mister landscaper drip system.I save more money on water with your product than the other irrigation product. Your water system is the best!
4/21/2012 9:51 AM
After using all your helpful tips I was so happy that they worked.
4/21/2012 10:02 AM
After using your product I recommended it to my community and we finally installed your product at the entrance of our can see how better our entrance garden is doing this spring. Thanks!!!
4/21/2012 10:02 AM
After using your product I recommended it to my community and we finally installed your product at the entrance of our can see how better our entrance garden is doing this spring. Thanks!!!
4/22/2012 9:20 AM
Heard a theory last year about watering.  Was wondering if anyone else had heard this and if you believe that the idea is correct.  I always thought that it was best to do all watering in the early morning and never during the hot afternoon sun.  I was told last summer that it's best to water plants, shrubs, trees, etc in the early morning, before the hot sun is shining, however, I was told that it's best to water your lawn in the middle of the afternoon - that this would actually encourage the photosynthesis.  My parents tried this with their lawn and the grass did seem to green up faster than their neighbors who were watering in the morning or evening.
4/22/2012 7:45 PM

That's interesting! I had never heard anybody encouraging watering in the middle of the afternoon before. The reasons I've always heard to avoid it is that more of the water is prone to evaporate in the afternoon in the hot sun, and that it therefore wastes more water since much of it evaporates before reaching the roots. Also, I've heard some people say water droplets on plant leaves in the middle of the day can promote leaf burn since the bright sun can be magnified by the water droplets.

Because of the need to conserve water, I heard people say water in the morning or later in the evening. But in the late evening if you wet the leaves of plants, the plants are more prone to develop diseases and mildews as the water/humidity stays on the leaves overnight since the sun isn't out to evaporate the water on the leaves.

So then, many people seem to say water in the mornings to conserve water, limit the chance of disease, and limit the chance of burning the plans.

I think it also depends on your location and the other features of your yard. For example, plants near trees will need more water because the tree roots will consume most of the water. If your yard is mostly shaded, I would imagine watering in the middle of the afternoon may not be that big of an issue. There could also be other reasons your parent's yard greened-up faster: a better pH level in their soil, or maybe the neighbors just didn't fertilize.

It's an interesting thought, though! I may divide the yard or a plant bed this summer and try watering half in the afternoon, and the other half in the mornings and see if there's much difference.
4/29/2012 12:23 PM
@computeraddict04 - To clarify, it still is best to water plants during the early morning when the most water will be absorbed by the plants.  The mid-day watering is for the grass only.  If your zones of your sprinkler system are set up for this, it works well.
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