Summer storms can be infrequent and scattered. Help keep your landscaping happy whether or not you got a tenth of an inch of rain or ten inches.

For many people summer time means trips to the beach, ice cream, and remembering which camp your kid is in that week.

For gardeners, it's about keeping an eye on the water, as we try tp navigate our way through another hot, dry summer. Summer time is hard on our plants, especially newly installed plants because our watering needs sky rocket at exactly the time that rainfall can become hardest to come by.

Established plants need a bare minimum of the equivalent of an inch of rain per week, whether that's from the sky or from a hose. New plantings can need much more than that, especially larger plants and water suckers like a big crape myrtle.

Your best tool in fighting a drought isn't a multi-million dollar sprinkler system with sensors and timers, but a simple rain gauge. Or failing that, a piece of tupperware or an empty plastic can. Any tool that will allow us to know just how much water accumulated. The first step to protecting your plants is knowing just how much water they got.

Once you know how much water we've received from mother nature, we can tackle just how much water to follow up with. For your lawn and small annuals and perennials, we can water with a sprinkler. Again, put out a piece of tupperware to measure just how much water is going out there. For larger plants like trees and shrubs, a sprinkler system doesn't penetrate down through the soil deep enough to saturate all of the plants roots. You're better off just taking a hose around the yard every couple of days and soaking your plants. Turn the hose on, aim it at the base of the plant where the root ball is, and slowly count to 5 for smaller shrubs, 10 for larger shrubs, or even 100 for a newly planted tree. For some trees known to like lots of water like Crape Myrtles or River Birches you might be better off setting the hose to a trickle and walking away for a few minutes.

Almost all short term death of plants is caused by lack of water. Please remember to keep your landscaping happy by giving it the moisture it needs.