It was lovely, watching the rain come down. It started around 6:30 pm two nights ago and continued intermittently yesterday. It met the puddle test, but when I went to scratch the soil, barely half an inch of moisture had soaked in; underneath, dust. Altogether, Wednesday and Thursday, I estimated three quarters of an inch of rain had fallen. Not enough to make a difference.
It’s time to start helping trees, especially those that are newly planted this year or last – but any tree is now under stress and needs moisture. The best way to water a tree is by soaking. Lay hose on the ground by the tree adjusted to allow a trickle of water to flow and leave it there for several hours, or all day. Then move it to another tree.
Anything in a pot needs thorough watering. Don’t assume because you see the water trickling out of the bottom that the pot is well watered. All that has happened is that the water has trickled out; the likelihood is that the soil mix in the pot is still dry. Water it again. And again.
A friend told me how she’s using bathwater and dishwater to water her garden. I used to do that and then got lazy. Today I decided to follow her example and used a couple of watering cans to empty the bath. These are times for water conservation.
If I lived in a town or city I would adopt a street tree. Most urban trees are planted in spaces that are far too small for good root development. They need extra care at all times but now, more than ever. Take some buckets of water to a tree nearby. It cleans your air and moderates your temperature. You need it, and it needs you. Get each of your neighbours to do the same.