BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Without rainwater, gardeners have been faced with a major dilemma this summer: how to keep things green and growing.
"This has been one of the toughest seasons that I've had since I have worked here, and that's been about twelve years now," said Mark Yadon, Vice President of the Mischler's Garden Center in Williamsville.
On Wednesday, we visited Craig Miles Jones at his Buffalo east side home. This young gardener has been planting a garden for five years and he's now in fifth grade.
"Since it's been so hot these days, we have had to water it every day," he noted.
The challenge is even greater at the Wilson Street Urban Farm, a chemical-free CSA embedded right within the east side of Buffalo. Normally the Stevens family run farm uses rainwater collected from house rooftops, but this year, they're coming up short.
"We have lost some plants but the majority of plants are suffering. The yields are lower and the plants are weaker than they normally would be," added Daniel Ash, one of the gardeners at the farm.
In the past, the main source of water for the plants has been natural rainwater collected in big tanks. And then there's this year.
"That's correct, you can see the big tank back there that hasn't been used this year. In fact, normally we'd be able to solely rely on rainwater."
So we went to the expert to see what he recommends during this exceptionally dry summer.
According to Yadon, "The best thing that you can do is thoroughly water, less often. What you want to do is water very thoroughly water every three days or so, so the water will get down into the root system."
And yes, there is a better time of day to water.
"Early in the day is really the best time, midday is the worst time and in the evening is a good time as well," Yadon said.
If you water in the evening, be careful to not wet the leaves of the plants as they may be more likely to become diseased.
And, can mulching help?
"Grass clippings is probably not the best thing to use as mulch. The best thing to use is composted pine, there's hard wood mulches or any of the commercially available mulches," added Yadon.
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