Good watering makes all the difference
How you water can determine if your plants live or die in hot weather. Water in the cool of the morning or early evening so the maximum amount of water is absorbed by the soil and not lost through evaporation.
A good deep watering every few days is better than a short sprinkle every day. However, keep an eye on the garden and water plants that are beginning to show signs of stress.
Always check the temperature of the water coming out of the hose. If left lying out in the sun, hose water can get to near boiling temperatures and will harm your plants. Coil hoses up or store on a hose trolley when not in use to reduce the risk and improve the longevity of the hose. A hose stored in its own retractable hose reel, preferably UV resistant, is another great way to keep the hose out of the direct sun.
Avoid watering on the leaves as this can scorch the leaves like a magnifying glass in the full sun, while also creating a humid environment desirable to fungal diseases. It is best to water directly on the soil where the plant needs moisture the most. However watch for soil splash onto the leaves as this can also encourage fungal diseases.
A hot dry soil can form a hydrophobic crust that will repel water. To break the crust water the soil lightly and allow it to sink in, softening the soil and making it receptive to larger quantities of water, then go back and water deeply.
An irrigation system is a great way to ensure the garden is watered consistently, without waste, during a hot dry spell, and even when you aren’t available to be in the garden. In hot dry periods, it is even more important to avoid yo-yo watering where the soil bounces between being too wet and then too dry.
During the heat of summer, it is prudent to check for local water restrictions before watering your plants. If you need to save water, grey water can be used on ornamental gardens, so long as the cleaning products you use are environmentally sensitive. For edible gardens, catch wasted sources of fresh water, like using a bucket to catch the water from the shower before it heats up.
Look after the gardener
And finally, keep the gardener safe and well in the garden. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Wear a wide brimmed hat, regularly apply sunscreen and take plenty of breaks in the shade. Avoid working in the heat of the day and leave jobs that demand lots of energy to the coolest hours.