There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Since August 1st we’re 5.5” deficient in rainfall. That’s Drought, capital D, and means severe, even deadly, consequences for landscape plants that haven’t received supplemental water.
One of the toughest questions we get asked as horticulturists is, “How much do I water?” You were hoping for a one sentence answer to that question, weren’t you? Okay, years ago a colleague shared a great guideline she had read on that subject. This generalization holds for trees, shrubs, lawns, perennials, veggies; etc. For each week of 75° temps one inch of rainfall, or its equivalent, will maintain plants in a vigorous growing condition. For each additional 10° F. per week, add ½” of water. So, if it’s consistently 95° for a week plants should be receiving 2” of moisture in that time period. I understand soil type and a lot of other conditions come into play, but it’s a fair generalization. Does that help quantify plant needs?
Some watering conditions:
Many times a mature plant will have enough stored foods that it will appear to “rebound” after a rain. That’s Nature’s way- survival. So, it may be 1-3 years after a serious drought for stress symptoms to show: decreases in stem growth, flower and fruit production; bark cracking, stem canker, twig and branch dieback, as well as general thinning of foliage; premature defoliation, increased susceptibility to insect and disease outbreaks.
Heading out to water? Don’t forget the sunscreen and visor.