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Watering During Extreme Heat

Posted by DNTQuilter none (saflinch@comcast.net) on
Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 14:35

Hi All,

I've always followed the general rule of 2 gallons of water per rose bush each week. So much, to the point that I use a watering can so I know how much I have delivered.

If we have a good soaking rain, then I will skip a watering.

Here's my question. We have had several days of extreme heat and no showers or thunderstorms.

While the roses still look ok, I worry that they are need some additional water.

Is it ok to increase their water supply during these "dog days", or best to let them go?

Thanks!

Scott in PA


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

How's the humidity there? Here it is almost like swimming in air. NOTHING dries out in those conditions, or loses water. We've gone weeks and weeks in weather like this without rain, and without any wilting (at least on the part of plants).

The fun comes when this weather breaks and it get much cooler and much drier. Then everything seems to dry out fairly quickly, but most people don't water because it is much more comfortable for them.


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

The humidty has been high. You know, I never thought about the humidity contributing to keeping things wet. Of course, the annuals I've been giving daily drinks, and they appreciate it.

The roses don't look all that dry, but gosh, I'm learning what the high heat does to the beauty and stem life of rose blooms. Yuck!

Scott in PA


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

  • Posted by jim1961 5/6 Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 15:42

Hi Scott,

This part of PA has received 5-6 inches of rain within the
past 2.5 weeks... I have 6 roses looking real bad out front from probably too much water... Might be fast spreading BS or water logged soil...
Knockouts and Mister Lincoln still looking good but everything else looking sad right now...


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

As long as you have good drainage (which will prevent waterlogged soil from hand watering), I would go ahead and give them more water.

Jackie


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

Scott, one of the things that I've found very helpful with my roses is newspaper and mulch. Around all of my roses I have layers of newspaper (usually around 5 sheets thick) covered with several inches of mulch. This not only helps to retain moisture, but it also keeps the ground a bit cooler so that these brutal temps aren't as harmful (it's 94 today here in zone 5b)..

Maude


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

Find a spot between a couple of the bushes and dig down a few inches to see how much moisture is there. I know you don't want to water if it's unnecessary but don't want the bushes to be too dry either.


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

Jim,

So sorry to hear about your roses. Many of the heavy storms in the past weeks went north of us, and we didn't get near the rainfall that you did.

Hoping things dry out for you and the roses turn around.

Scott


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

Jackie,

Thanks for the advice. I think I will hot hesitate to give an extra drink if mother nature pulls this crap again.

Maude,

I like the newspaper idea. Of interest, the Rose Dr. at our local nursery advised me to keep the mulch pulled back away from around the base of the rose. Why? He said that the heat makes it too hot for the plant when surrounded to the trunk with mulch. I have not followed his advice. Although, the mulch is not as thick around the base since I move it away when I work Rose Tone into the soil each month.

We had a big storm here this afternoon. Where was I? The Garden Center at Lowes. I just picked up two Dwarf Ornamental grasses to put in the rose garden.

It was amazing the amount of water that came down in that storm. No watering required here.

Scott in PA


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

  • Posted by jim1961 5/6 Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 21:17

Mulch up against the canes could help breed fungus...
Like canker, etc...
So I've heard... Not sure myself one way or the other?
I keep the mulch a few inches from the canes just in case...lol

This post was edited by jim1961 on Sun, Jul 7, 13 at 21:29


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

I keep the mulch a bit away from the canes too. I'm not sure if it really will cause any sort of disease, but better safe than sorrt:)
Maude


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RE: Watering During Extreme Heat

The two gallons a week is a "rule of thumb". Some roses are more thirsty than others and may require even more water. Besides, roses can't count.

Along with humidity, there are other variables like the size and maturity of the plant, whether or not the temps drop at night and allow the plant to rehydrate the top growth from moisture in the root zone, whether the plant gets afternoon shade ... and more.

If the plant is losing more moisture in the top growth due to transpiration ... sweating .. than it can pull up from the root zone, then you may see some wilting during periods of high heat. In my climate, night temps can be 40 to 50 degrees cooler than the day temps. This gives the plant the opportunity to pull the moisture that is around the roots up to the top growth and by morning, the rose will be fully hydrated again and there will be no sign of wilting until later in the day when that transpiration rate stresses the top growth again.

As far as mulch being pulled back, it make sense not to have wet mulch right next to the base of the plant because it could cause disease in some climates, but more important, the feeder roots that pull up moisture and nutrients spread out and away from the base of the rose. That's the soil that needs to be kept moist and cooler.

Living in a low humidity climate with day temps in the 90s and low 100s for the summer months, I generally give my roses a deep watering once a week and what I call a "feeder root" watering mid week to put moisture into the top few inches of the soil under and around the roses. If we have triple digit temps for several days, since I already have to wash the roses to avoid spider mite infestation, I wash them in the afternoon because roses also absorb moisture through their leaves.

Yes, I do get some crispy blooms, but I try to grow roses with blooms that can handle the heat in this garden.

Smiles,
Lyn


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