This column comes through the Grant County Extension Service out of New Mexico State University.
Questions: What time of day should I water my raised bed garden? Why is water pooling on the soil surface? When is the right time to pull garlic?
Questions: Why do people build raised beds? Why not just plant directly in the soil? What’s the recommended height for a raised garden bed? Am I ruining everything by overcrowding my poor plants? What if my raised bed was ready, but I was too late to plant?
Question: I suspect that curly top virus caused half of my tomatoes to wilt and die last year before July, so this year I’ve covered each cage with shade cloth to keep the beet leafhopper out. If wrapping each plant keeps insects out, how do the flowers get pollinated?
- Mary T., Belen, NM
Question: What is causing this white webbing that looks like it’s oozing from old pruning cuts in apple trees?
Question: How much should I be watering my trees?
- Multiple Gardeners from All Over NM
Answer (Part 2):
In last week’s column, we learned about how the type of soil in your garden affects tree water requirements. Now we will focus on other considerations, such as rates of water movement, tree species, age, canopy size, and seasonal fluctuations in water needs.
Plants take water up from the soil through their roots all the way to the leaves where it is released into the air. Transpiration is the process by which a plant loses water, primarily through pores in the leaves called stomata. This is a necessary process that involves the use of about 90% of the water that enters the plant through the roots. The other 10% of the water is used in chemical reactions, like photosynthesis, and in plant tissues. Transpiration is necessary for mineral transport from the soil to the plant tissues, for the cooling of the plant through evaporation, for moving sugars and plant chemicals, and for the maintenance of turgor pressure. The amount of water lost from the plant depends on several environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind or air movement.