It seems only logical that as summer weather heats up, you may need to adjust the watering schedule for your plants. Higher temperatures and direct sun will dry out soil much quicker, making it necessary to increase how much water and how frequently you are watering. By the same token, too much water can damage plants and attract unwanted pests, like mosquitoes. If you find yourself with mosquito bites, standing water may be a contributing factor.
How often you water will largely depend on the types of plants in your garden. If you have a drought resistant landscape with a variety of succulents and cacti, the watering schedule can be kept fairly consistent year-round. If your garden includes a lot of annuals, herbs, and vegetables, you not only want to water more frequently, you may need to change the time of day you are watering.
Watering during the cooler hours when the sun is low and before the day heats up is best. It also reduces the chance of overwatering and allows any excess water to absorb into the soil. Overwatering can actually damage the root system and cause plants to wilt and die. It can also leave behind residual water that pests like cockroaches and mosquitoes are naturally drawn to.
Signs you may be watering too much or too little:
- Plants are wilting while soil remains wet
- Leaves appear yellowed
- Leaves are turning brown and branches or stems look dried out
- There’s standing water accumulating in potted plants
- Mosquito bites on arms and legs after spending time in the garden
- Mosquito larvae found floating around plants or other areas of the garden
- An infiltration of cockroaches invading the yard
Living in a desert climate poses its own set of challenges for keeping the yard looking good, especially during the summer months. The high temperatures, strong sun, wind, and monsoon must all be taken into account from June through September, in addition to considering the types of plants, the age of the plants, the area they are planted, and the soil.
The goal is to keep the plants healthy and flourishing, while keeping pests and weeds at bay.