Gardens, plants feel the heat

archive_import

By GRACE METZGER

and SCOTT PESZNECKER

If heat waves and water shortages are leaving your plants parched, don't grab the green spray paint just yet.

Calaveras County green thumbs suggest there are better ways to quench your camellias.

"Soak them," said Rita Allen, co-owner of Wayward Greens Nursery in San Andreas with her husband, Rick. "Water them well.

"But certainly not in the middle of the day when it's really hot."

Wet leaves, she explained, can get scorched in intense sun.

Early morning is the best time to give plants a drink, said Carrol Lang of Lang's Little Acres outside Murphys. "Water in plants is like blood in humans," she said. "They (plants) need the nutrients from the water to endure the heat during the day."

It's especially important to water plants deeply, Lang said. A six-inch well should be dug around shrubs and trees and filled at least weekly.

Lang suggests placing a tray underneath particularly thirsty potted plants to catch excess water the plant can use later. Covering the soil around a plant with straw or bark mulch also helps conserve water, she said.

Plants potted in containers smaller than one gallon should be watered daily during the peak summer heat, Lang said.

Plants from one to three years old should get water two to three times per week and older, well-established plants can get by with one watering per week.

In times of water shortage, Allen uses biodegradable soap in everything from her washing machine to her kitchen sink. Then she recycles the water on her garden.

Meanwhile, just because a plant looks wilted doesn't mean it needs water.

"They'll bend over anyway and look wilted when they get hot, just like we wilt when we get hot," said Leila Losik, manager of Donlen Nursery in Altaville.

Plants can also suffer sun or wind burn when temperatures climb toward 100 degrees, Losik said, wilting leaves of affected plants.

11700547
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday September 29, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Fire threatens Hetch Hetchy infrastructure

09/26/2016

A fire burning in grass and oak woodland near the Moccasin Powerhouse ... more

Marshes Fire grows to 1,000 acres

09/27/2016

Firefighters with dirty faces and bulldozer drivers clad in fire-retardant gear toiled ... more

Walking Man of Murphys hits milestone

09/22/2016

Thursday marked the eighth anniversary since Ric Ryan began his trek as ... more