How to save your plants during the sizzling Arizona summer

Posted at 7:09 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 22:09:06-04

Arizonans are struggling to save their plants after a brutal heat wave.

Julie Swords' tomato plant thrives from catching drips off her air-conditioning drain pipe, but her evergreen is not living up to its name.

"You can tell the sun is starting to singe it pretty good," Swords said.

A lifelong Arizonan, her rule of thumb is to "water in the mornings, and I make sure they're getting enough shade."

At Whitfill Nursery, Matthew Blake says you can plant yucca, cacti, and desert trees even on the hottest summer days.

"Most other guys, they're all plants from somewhere else, and they're not built for 118 degrees," Blake said.

Blake says a slow stream of water all day long, once a week, is best for established trees. He says shade cloth isn't necessary for most plants.

"Once they're established you can let them go a little bit," Blake said. "You'll see some burn on them, but it's better to see that burn on them and get them tougher than it is to baby them through it."

He has the same deep-watering theory for grass. That's why people with flood irrigation have lush yards.

"When you do hit it with water after it's kind of panicked a little bit, all of those new roots shoot up new growth, so you get a lot more growth out of it," Blake said.

Blake says you want to water grass to a depth of 2-inches. He adds people with sprinklers should run them a maximum of once a day around sunrise.