This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

June 25, 2017

How to get your garden through the record-breaking heat of Phoenix

Dang, it's HOT out there. I've lived in the Phoenix area for a long time, but I don't remember it ever getting this hot so early in the year. So of course I'm worried about my plants.

Even when there isn't record-breaking heat in Phoenix, it's important to have water on timers. Lugging a heavy hose out on a day that's over 100 degrees isn't something most people want to do, and today it will be closer to 115 degrees! So if you decided against putting in those timers, you made a mistake. Put it on your to-do list for fall. No, don't go out and do it right now. There isn't enough sunblock in the world. Plan for September, or October.

In my backyard garden I have two watering systems. One is a drip system (the one on the right), which delivers water precisely to my plants, and the other is a misting system (the same as you see on the patios of restaurant, except that mine is on ground level). Yesterday I moved the frequency of the misting to hourly, and the water to every eight hours. Yes, that's extreme. Usually in the summer the misters come on every four hours, and the water comes on once a day. The duration is fifteen minutes, by the way.

I use cheap battery-powered timers, and have for the last twenty years. Yes, I worry about them, and they do fail, but it keeps me looking at them. If you don't look at your watering system, your plants can easily die in a day or two when it's this hot.

To me, gardening is like maintaining a ship. There's always something to do, something to adjust. I try to get out there in the morning (and it's already in the 90s first thing in the morning here) and look around. I walk the line and check to see if the water is being delivered properly. I also do hand-watering.

Having a garden in an extreme climate takes some work, but it's a labor of love. It also takes some preparation, and water timers!
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