It’s here—summer summer summertiiiime. Or should I say, it’s been here, as we’ve been feelin’ the heat for the past few weeks with seemingly no end in sight.

In this sweltering weather, keeping the garden cool and well-watered is key to helping plants survive. Even with drip irrigation installed in my yard, I find that I still need to supplement with hand watering during drought and heat spells.

Here are my top six tips for hot weather watering, all gathered from personal experience.

Time your watering for the morning or late afternoon.


The best time to water your garden in summer is from 6 am to 10 am—before the heat of the day sets in, giving your plants plenty of time to drink up and any moisture on the leaves to dry off before nightfall.


A good rule of thumb is to water when the first 2 inches of potting soil feels dry. The smaller or more porous your container, the more you’ll have to water it.

Water well and water deeply.


If you’re still hand-watering everything, it’s worth it to install a drip irrigation system to take some of the workload off in high season.

Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses.


Container plants should be grouped together to increase humidity, and they especially benefit from being placed under the canopy of larger plants or trees.

Promote high humidity.


If your plants are in containers, move them to an area of the yard that’s partially shaded in the afternoon.

Shield heat-sensitive plants from excessive sun.

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