Saturday, 27 June 2015

Oh it burns! The science of watering in full sun

"... hot gardening (sort of like hot yoga but even more strenuous!)" ~ Audrey

With multiple days of 30+ degree weather and unclouded sun, it was dry, dry, dry: I poured water onto my plants every chance I could get!  But I might have been doing more harm than good.

It was my father-in-law who actually brought it up with me, "Isn't it bad to water plants when they're in the sun?"  I knew a lot of it probably did evaporate so it wasn't great for water conservation, but was it bad for the plants?  To the internets! 

What I found: Science has caught up to what old wives have known for years - watering plants in full sun can burn their leaves!  In some cases at least. 

Researchers found smooth plant leaves were unscathed, while the fuzzy leaves' "... hairs can hold the water droplets in focus above the leaf's surface, acting as a magnifying glass."
And that's exactly what I saw in the garden: My poor tomatoes and potatoes have tiny burn-speckled leaves while my sunflowers and beans were fine. 

So from now on it's only watering in the morning* and avoiding the leaves for me.

* More reasons why watering in the morning is better from Horticulture Magazine can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment