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Plants Need Help to Beat the Heat, Too

Give plants a good soak once or twice a week for best results.

As temperatures soar into the 90s this week, we aren’t the only ones looking to keep cool and hydrated – your plants need help as well.

Watering the garden is one of my least favorite tasks, especially when it’s hot outside! In addition to spending time and energy on getting the plants watered, it also serves to increase my quarterly water bill. Fortunately there are easy ways to save money on this.

One of my favorites is using the water from the dehumidifier to water my container planted flowers. I’m recycling 1-2 gallons of water a week with this method. May not seem like much, but over an entire summer those gallons really add up.

Looking for bigger returns? Consider installing a rain barrel. Last Sunday, (UCC) in downtown Farmington offered rain barrel workshops. Participants left with a 50-plus gallon rain barrel ready to attach to the downspout of their home or garage.

Detroit-based Maxi Container Inc. helped participants repurpose food storage barrels, made with plastic that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. Susan Nickels, one of the coordinators of the event said that Salem UCC, "an open, family-oriented church," was happy to match their community outreach to the new Go Green Initiative held at during the .

All that collected water will help you conserve, but how often should you be using it? Watering daily is not what your plants crave for good health. Instead of dragging out the hose or watering can each day, give your plants a good, long drink one or two times per week. This helps the plant get established and creates a root system that runs strong and deep, .

More tips to keep your garden and wallet in the green

  • Check your hoses and hose connections; leaks mean less water is getting where it needs to go and that costs you money.
  • Mulch! Properly applied mulch can help your plants, shrubs and trees retain moisture meaning you’ll water less often.
  • Water your trees. Yes, our tall, leafy friends need water as well. Rather than putting a hose at the base of the tree, step back to where the leaves end. The tree will benefit from watering the shallow roots there. This is also where you would place fertilizer when feeding your trees. Yes, trees like to be fed.

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