Cool Weather Watering

The humidity is starting to drop, and the air is beginning to get crisp. Fortunately for us, this is a blessing after a Summer of record-breaking heat and rain. Unfortunately for our plants, their watering schedules get forgotten about. With these long stretches of dry weather approaching, make sure you are giving your plants the extra bump they need to look nice this fall. I would even deem October the second most important month for irrigation, next to July, just for the dryness.

Cooling temperatures decrease the energy levels of water particles in the air and evaporation slows. This results in that lower humidity we love this time of year, but it also creates a dry environment for our indoor and outdoor plants.

Pre-Installed Irrigation

Most homes with front yard landscaping have irrigation installed. Make sure to keep the irrigation running this October to adjust for the reduced water levels. Some irrigation maintenance is required. I have complied a list of a few things to check on your irrigation systems this October.

  • Check the time and day settings on your controls. Adjust as necessary.
  • Flush out lines by removing the last sprinkler head or emitter and let the water run out for 1-2 minutes.
  • Check each irrigation line for pinched or damaged tubing and replace as necessary.
  • Monitor spray cycle for broken, tilted, or clogged sprinkler heads and emitters. Replace as necessary.
  • Monitor spray cycle for obstructions that alter the spray pattern. Remove any debris that blocks the pattern.
  • Clean or replace system filter screens.
  • In the event of high rains or frost, be prepared to winterize and shut off your irrigation system.

Hose Watering

For those of us who prefer the hose watering method, there are a few things we can do to make the task a little easier.

  • Water plants and trees at the dripline. This puts the water in the active rootzone of the plant.
  • Water in the early morning when the temperature is cooler.
  • Water deeply to water efficiently. The goal here is to get water deep into the soil, not to make it look like someone just wet the soil surface.
  • Check the nozzle for water build-up and clean as necessary while you’re at it.

Watering Potted Plants

  • During dry weather, group potted plants together to reduce frequency of watering. Transpiration will make several of these plants become friends.
  • Water thoroughly and less frequently.
  • Replace any soils that have become hydrophobic with new potting mix.
  • Place trays with pea pebbles near plants to add evaporative moisture to the air. For indoor potted plants consider adding a humidifier to the room.

Remember that plants need water too. Don’t let your plants fall to the wayside this cool season. If you have any questions about irrigation or watering your plants, from houseplants to vegetables, remember that your local horticulture extension agent is always here to help. Happy fall y’all.

Clogged Irrigation Filter.

Clogged Irrigation Filter

Dripline of a Young Tree.

Dripline of a Young Tree

Sansevieria Plantjpg

Sansevieria Plant

9/16/2022 6:34:27 PM
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