10 Tips for Watering Your Garden
Watering your garden should be the easiest garden job ever, right? But is it? When you think about it, watering a garden is a complex job that requires some knowledge and even experience.
For example, how do you know if your plants have had enough water? How do you know you’re not over or underwatering them? How do you know when is the best time of the day to water the garden?
You can find the answer to these and more questions, and more watering tips if you just keep scrolling down.
1. Never rely on rain
Trying to save water by waiting for the rain to water your plants is a sure way to destroy your garden pretty fast. The number one tip is to never rely on the rain because it’s hard to guess when the rain will fall and even harder to guess if there will be enough rain to thoroughly water your plants.
Your garden plants require at least one inch of water per week to thrive. And if there’s a dry spell, even more water is necessary to help your plants get through the dry period.
Instead of waiting for the rain, make sure you water your plants regularly. Or if you want, you can insert a rain gauge in your garden. A rain gauge is an instrument that measures the amount of rain that has fallen. With it, you’ll know exactly how much rain your plants have gotten and how much you need to supplement by watering them, as well.
2. Water your garden in the morning or late in the evening
Probably the most common question when it comes to garden maintenance is when to water your plants. You’ll hear many answers but the only correct one is that you should hydrate your plants in the morning or late in the evening.
Plants should be watered when the soil is cool and when water can reach the roots of the plants without evaporating. This time is in the morning between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. and later in the evening.
Also, don’t water your plants too early in the evening because the soil is still warm, plus wet soil and foliage attract insects, fungus, and other types of diseases.
3. Check soil moisture levels
This is an important step when it comes to watering your garden. Plants don’t like too dry soil but they also dislike sitting in too wet conditions. To be sure of the state of the soil, and to know when your plants need watering, check soil moisture levels.
You don’t need any special instruments to do this, simply insert a wooden dowel into the garden soil and then pull it out to see how moist the soil is. Dry soil will leave no trace on the dowel, while the moist soil will stick to it.
4. Water thoroughly but less frequently
Try not to water your garden too often, however, you should water it thoroughly. This is especially important during the hot summer days. If you water your garden too often but not enough, you risk preventing deep root development.
That’s why you should thoroughly water your plants but not too frequently. This way of watering your plants will encourage their roots to reach for residual water in the soil.
5. Water at soil level
When using a garden hose to water your plants always direct water to the base of the plants. By doing this you’re delivering water right to their root where the water is needed.
If you don’t direct the water, it soaks the whole plant and leaves the water sitting on the leaves of the plants. Too much water on the leaves and around them can lead to plant diseases and fungus, and it can also attract unwanted insects.
6. Use a watering wand or can to water container plants
With either a watering wand or a can you can more easily direct the water at the soil level for plants that are in-ground containers or hanging planters. With these helpful tools, you won’t have to stretch or stoop to reach the soil.
If you were to use a spray nozzle on potted plants, you would damage foliage and blossoms. You could also disturb the soil by using a spray nozzle. Instead, use one of the above-mentioned tools, or simply remove the nozzle and use the hose to water your container plants.
7. Plants in containers should be watered once per day
Since we’re talking about container plants, it should be mentioned that they need to be watered at least once per day. This is because the soil inside containers and planters dries out faster than soil in a garden plot.
Smaller flowerpots should be thoroughly watered in the morning and then once more in the afternoon if the temperatures are high.
8. Don’t forget to water trees and shrubs as well
Often we forget to water our trees and shrubs, thinking they somehow get enough water from the rain or something. However, our trees and shrubs also need some TLC.
Older trees and shrubs, those that are at least two years of age, should be watered once every two weeks when there’s not enough rain. As for young, newly planted trees and shrubs, try watering them two to three times a week for the first month.
9. Use quality soil that retains water
Not every soil is good soil for planting. If you want your plants to thrive, you should use clay-rich soil because this type of soil can retain water better and in a more even way. This type of soil is also more nutrient-rich than other types of soil.
10. Sprinklers or no sprinklers?
Most sprinklers are not a sufficient way to water your garden. First, as we mentioned, plants’ leaves shouldn’t be watered due to the risk of fungal infection.
Second, during hot summer days, the water from sprinklers often doesn’t even reach the plants, thus sprinklers are pointless.
Knowing how to properly water your garden is important. The state of your garden and its health depend greatly on how well you water your plants. And even though you may think that watering your garden is not a science, knowing these couple of tips can help you a lot.