Some trees and plants are very sensitive to temperature changes, from heat stress all the way up to brutal drought. Adequate watering is a chore you must be prepared to do if your chosen variety is very sensitive to this.
Dehydration is often irreversible. Failure to provide moisture when needed causes damage to the point where it is simply too late to save them.
Humidity, which here in Iowa we call “The Air You Can Wear,” is as hard on plants and trees as it is on people. Heat and humidity keeps many people indoors sitting by the air conditioner when their garden needs attention.
Get up early and water your plants and trees. Sometimes being neglected for even an extra 24 hours could cause the loss of a tree.
The further south that you live, you will find that Winter Hardiness and Drought Tolerance are of equal importance. Certain plants that flourish in the cool north will faint in the southern heat.
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Always find out the Heat Tolerance or the Drought Tolerance of your plant or tree before you order it.
Too little water leads to dehydration. A friend of mine planted 1,000 red pine trees on his farm at the recommendation of his state forestry service. The first tough drought they had had in years killed every last one of them. Sometimes even the experts are wrong.
Always check on your trees, even if they are full grown and well established. If it is dry enough that you see cracks in the soil, then you must be diligent about watering. Cracks let hot air into the ground, which is bad for the roots.
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Too much water will cut down on oxygen and essentially suffocate the plant. Make sure a fruit tree is not planted in a spot where water will stand. Good drainage is not negotiable. Some trees are very sensitive to too much water, whether it is delivered by rainfall or by the garden hose.
Don’t overwater a peach tree. Their root system is very shallow. I actually drowned a young peach tree decades ago because I did not recognize the telltale signs of over watering (limp or yellow leaves.)
Water your trees at planting time. Keep an eye on them for the next couple of years. Feel the soil and water only when they need it. Water deep and infrequent.
NOTE: Do not water plants and trees in the middle of a hot day. You will cook them. Water early in the morning when it is cool, and take care that you do not splash water on the leaves.
HAPPY PLANTING! Susan
For more in-depth information on GROWING YOUR OWN FRUIT
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