I’ve got a big ol’ pot of impatiens by the front door. When they’re dry, they communicate very clearly: They wilt. I water.
I was riding my bike the other day, when I noticed a whole bunch of dried leaves in the gutter. It took me a minute to realize that IT’S NOT FALL YET. It’s too early to have dried leaves in the gutter. They’re supposed to be green and on the trees. The trees are telling us something we may have overlooked: it’s really dry.
In the metro area, so far we’ve had the 6th driest summer and the 15th coolest summer since 1871. The lower temps were a good thing. They’ve kept the soil from heating up and the plants from drying out so quickly. But they may have masked the problem a bit, especially for trees. When it’s cool, I don’t think about watering as much as I do when it’s hot. And, even when it’s hot, I hardly ever think about watering my trees. Maybe that’s because my trees aren’t as demonstrative as my impatiens. Many trees don’t even show signs of drought stress until they’re in a bad way. Losing leaves in early August means that at least some trees are in a bad way.
So (you know what I’m going to say) do water your trees, even mature ones. Unless we get some rain, set a sprinkler under the drip line and run it for about a half hour a week. Or snake a soaker hose under your tree. Or water with a regular hose. Just water. At least every once in a while.
I’m not a natural born waterer. I have to be reminded. I’m glad my impatiens live up to their name, get tired of waiting for me and just demand water. Wish my other plants were as pushy.
How do you water? Do you have a watering schedule? Or do you wait to water until you think your plants need it? How do your plants tell you they’re thirsty?