If you are like me, your water bill is going to equal your mortgage payment after this dreadfully hot and dry summer.
The New York Times asked Todd Forrest (what a perfect name!), vice president at the New York Botanical Gardens, for his advice. If you are like me and you have used up all your free visits to the Times on line, you won't be able to just click on a link and see what he said.
So I will paraphrase his advice here.
If you have only limited time to spend in the garden, water. Let all the other tasks go. You can get to the weeding and dead-heading later.
Water in the cool of the morning or the cool of the evening (but not too late, so foliage isn't wet during the night). If you water in the heat of the day, it will just evaporate. But if you are pressed for time, water whenever you can.
Water your vegetable garden first or you will lose crops. Then water perennials, they are an investment in the future. Your annuals may not make it. Watch out for trees, especially new ones. You might not see the signs of stress on trees until it is too late. Use a Tree Gator for long, slow watering.
The heat will make the gardener sick -- as well as his plants. Take it easy and take plenty of breaks and drink lots of water. And do what I do -- garden just after dawn.