Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Skillin's Moisture Meter July 27, 2010

Hello again,

Well, I have been away from Skillin's Country on secret assignment for a few days. Our gardens did get much rain--a big storm last Wednesday night and another very good bunch of showers on early Sunday morning. All told 3" of rain has fallen into the Skillin's Country Rain Gauge in the last week.

New outdoor plantings (of vegetables, annuals, perennials, and certainly shrubs and trees) require 1 inch of water per week optimally spread out over at least two quality waterings per week. A "quality watering" is defined as a slow soaking of your plant's roots.

(More detail about quality waterings: A steady rain of an which brings a half inch of rain or more qualifies as a quality watering. In lieu of rain a quality watering can be accomplished by letting water run slowly out of a watering can or the end of your hose into each plant's root system or by having a soaker hose at work for several hours twice a week. In "non soaker hose situations", pause on your watering if the water starts to run off; let the water soak in and then begin to water again. Repeat this process several times and move onto the next plant. For larger trees and shrubs (and if you do not have a soaker hose) merely set a hose against the tree or shrub for at least 1 to 2 hours and let the water almost trickle into the ground and down into the plant's root system. Again if there is runoff, pause and let the water soak in. )

This Week's Moisture Meter Readings:

Quality rain (1).

Quality waterings required by you: (1).

I know, I know 3" of rain this past week and "you still want me to water!" And the ground looks somewhat moist in most places. BUT temperatures have been warm and yesterday and today have been breezy. Shallow and open planted areas like annual beds and vegetable gardens could use a good slow watering in the next couple of days if you have the chance. Some possible showers and thunder showers are forecast for Thursday--this could give annuals and vegetables the water they need. I did water some containers and annual plantings that spend most of the day in the blazing sun. They were starting to get dry. SO check out your garden; the ground is dry enough that any watering is not a bad thing.

2010 shrub and tree plantings? 2010 perennials? They will need water by the weekend unless Thursdays rain is REAL quality. I will update this posting Thursday or Friday if the rain appears to be a factor one way or the other! (Update: We got almost no rain on Thursday 7/29 and many areas are dry if you have not watered in the last few days. SO: over the next couple of days, make certain ALL 2010 plantings get a good quality watering including all container plantings. Most plants are large and have fairly intense watering needs at this point. So go get'em!)

If you have met the quality watering requirement for this past week, congratulations! If not, pay careful attention this coming week and beyond and make sure that your new plants get those required quality waterings!

Let us know if you have any watering questions!


Mike Skillin

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