Here are ways to keep your lawn and garden alive during the heat wave.
-- Pay first attention to trees and shrubs planted in the past three years and any fruit trees you have. Plunge a long screwdriver, wooden dowel or other probe into the soil. The resistance you meet will tell you how far down the plants are getting water. Aim for 12 inches.
-- Here’s another way to look at it: Newly planted trees and shrubs should receive at least 10 gallons of water a week, and those planted in sandy soil will need that much twice a week. One way to deliver it: Punch a small hole in the side of a 5-gallon bucket and fill the bucket with water. Once the water has trickled out, refill it, and you will have applied 10 gallons.
Very large transplanted trees and those planted two to three years ago will require more water. Another way to water: Let a hose dribble or place a soaker hose at the base of the tree until there is runoff.
-- Lawns, even fescue, can be allowed to go dormant. Just make sure fescue has at least a quarter-inch of water every two weeks if there's no rain to keep it alive. (And if you want to kill off any Bermuda grass this summer, keep it growing robustly so the glyphosate you apply in the middle of the month will do the trick.)
-- Don't fertilize.
-- Tomato plants don't set much fruit when nighttime temperatures are above 75, daytime temperatures are above 95, and winds are hot and dry. Keep plants evenly watered, be sure they're mulched, and hang on — we'll just have a later crop than usual.