About six weeks ago I took my shovel, chainsaw, hoe, and clippers and took all of the dead vegetation out of my home's landscape. The very cold temperatures of last winter wiped out seven palm trees, countless bottle brush plants, and a host of other warm weather loving plants. My yard looked like something out of a Mad Max movie.

I have now invested a lot of money into replacing those plants only to see them looking all wilted like an octogenarian at a nude beach. I know I need to water those plants since Mother Nature is being stingy with the rain, but when is the best time to water?

There is a myth about gardening that suggests you never water in the midday sun. The drops of water create a magnifying effect on the leaves and can actually burn the plant. That is false.

There is another myth that suggests you never water over the leaves, only spray water around the roots. That one is kind of true unless you're experiencing hot, dry, dusty conditions such as the ones that are happening outside our window right now. That sprinkle of water can actually wash the dust and dirt off the leaves.

Here's another myth, if my plants are wilting they need water. That's another kind of true one. Anything that prevents the plant from pulling water through the root system will cause wilt. So you could have an issue other than not enough water. However, if you water those bad boys and they spring to life like a Cajun dance floor when Tee Nah Nah is playing then you needed to water.

So when is the best time water your plants? Quite frankly for most of us home landscapers, it boils down to one thing. You should water when you remember to water. If you think about it go do it. I have found that to be my best guidance in keeping my plants alive long enough to be killed by the winter frost in January.


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