When To Water The Garden

Posted: June 10, 1987

Dear Polly: I'm confused. One expert says to water the garden in the evening so the water doesn't evaporate in the sun. Another expert says never water at night since it can promote disease. What's the best time to water the garden?

- Jenny

Dear Jenny: It really depends on the climate where you live. If you live in a dry climate, watering in the early evening gives the water many hours to seep into the soil without the heat of the sun causing significant evaporation.

In a humid climate, however, watering at night leaves the plant leaves moist for many hours, which can promote fungal diseases. In such a situation, it's best to water early in the morning. Then, the water still has time to soak into the ground before the full heat of the midday sun hits, but the morning sun will dry the plant leaves, decreasing the possibility of fungal diseases.

Take your own climate into consideration and plan your watering accordingly. If plant diseases are a particular problem in your area, you'll want to water in the early morning. If you live in a hot, dry climate and don't have much problem with diseases, save the watering for early evening.

- Polly

Dear Polly: A 10-inch-by-13-inch-by-2-inch baking pan makes a great tray for anyone who is bedridden. It could be painted and made attractive with decals, if used for a person who had a long-term illness. Anything spilled would be in the pan instead of messing the bed covers.

- Kathryn

Dear Polly: I've frozen strawberries, rhubarb and peaches, but can you freeze oranges, too? We were given a bushel of oranges that I can't use fast enough.

- E.G.

Dear E.G.: Oranges can be frozen. Here's the procedure.

Wash, peel, section and remove all membranes and seeds. Oranges freeze best in a syrup pack, so prepare a medium syrup: Combine 3 cups sugar with 4 cups water in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool completely. (Leftover syrup may be refrigerated in a covered container for several weeks.)

Pack the orange pieces in freezer containers and cover with the syrup to which you've added 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid per quart of syrup. Seal, label and freeze.

Dear Polly: Here's my secret for smoked turkey with moist, tender skin. I rub mustard evenly over the turkey before cooking. This has always worked for me.

- G.M.M.

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