Archive for June 7th, 2011

June 7, 2011

Water, water, water!

We’ve had record-breaking temps in the Twin Cities the past couple of days. This weather is tough.  It literally feels like a blast furnace to us and most of us aren’t outside all day and night.

This is the kind of weather that really tests Darwin’s theory or evolution and truly the strongest (healthiest and most fit) will survive.  Plants and trees have no respite right now, so they really need us.  We all need to do our part to keep our plants and trees well watered right now, not only to keep them moist, but on these really hot days, their roots need cooling too.  Container plants especially need their roots cooled.  Remember a few days ago I was mentioning that it’s great that the soil in containers heats faster than the soil in the ground because you can get a jump-start on seed germination and plant growth?  Well, here we are, less than a week later and I get to remind you that there’s a down side to containers as well.  The soil in containers heats faster than the soil in the ground… On days like today when temps are over 100 degrees the soil temperature in containers is soaring as well.  If your plants look limp, but the soil is still wet, please give your plants a drink anyway.  Just like us, they may not be thirsty so much as just too hot.  The cool water will help cool their roots and get them back to a comfortable temperature, lessening the stress on the plant.

As if these temps alone aren’t enough to torture plants and trees, add dry air and high wind and we’re asking a lot of our green friends.

And now for a little plant biology. 🙂  Much like human perspiration, plants lose water through openings on their leaves in a process called transpiration.  The rate of transpiration (loss of water) is affected by humidity in the air, wind, air temperature and light intensity. The drier the air, the higher the wind, the higher temperature and the more intense the light is will increase the rate of transpiration/loss of water.

So… on hot days, water.  On dry days, water.  On windy days, water. And on hot, dry, windy days… please, please water!