I write this in the heatwave where several places in Britain reached 40°C today. Down at the allotment the jobs have been water, water, water, pick and repeat. Now is the time when I am really appreciating all the mulch I have used. See this post here for the compost I am using as mulch.
If you don’t mulch, the water just creates a run off and the path (and weeds) get a good watering but not the plant. You can see it in the photo and it means that every time I water, the water will just run off the soil on this pathway.
You can see a thin layer of mulch and then the sandier soil and stones under it on the run-off path.
However, if you mulch thickly, the mulch absorbs the water and traps it underneath, providing water to the plant and no where else!
Watch a short video of newly planted red cabbage (Kalibos) being watered with a whole watering can of water and no run-off at all. This was the second can on that patch and will last the plants up to a week depending on the sunshine and wind meaning I can spend more time picking.
Water, water, pick, pick.