Garden Watering Made Easy with These Top Tips
Keeping your garden in top shape involves watering plants. Proper watering is more efficient and effective, and it's also environmentally responsible. Before you grab the hose and go, check out these tips that will help you water like a pro.
The Best Time To Water a Garden
In most cases, a successful plan for your garden involves early morning watering. This doesn't mean you have to get cracking before dawn, but you should aim to water while the sun is still low in the sky.
Sunlight is weakest in the morning hours. This means the ground is cooler. Water will do a better job of reaching the root system of your plants without quick evaporation. You'll also give foliage a chance to dry before the evening hours set in. These things create healthy, vibrant plants.
Watering at night is a bad idea. The moisture on foliage is a breeding ground for fungus, and it can also attract pests. Many plant diseases can be prevented by watering early in the day.
How Often Should You Water Plants?
Many gardeners make the mistake of too much watering. There seems to be a general misconception that plants can never have too much moisture. The reality is that watering too much can create harmful scenarios that include mold and fungus.
The easy answer here is to water only when necessary. The hard part can be determining how much water your plants require. A good rule of thumb is to water when more than 1" of the surrounding soil is dry. Many outdoor plants are going to require some daily watering to maintain the correct moisture. In climates where the temperature exceeds 85 degrees during the day, more frequent watering will be required.
You want to make sure the soil around your plants has a little time to dry. The drying period between watering is what promotes the growth of plant roots. Think of it like building muscle for adults. There has to be a period of recovery for growth to occur.
Eliminate the Automatic Sprinkler in Favor of Hoses
Sprinklers are convenient. The problem is that they can become too convenient for the gardener. Using a hose will give you more control over the amount of water your garden receives. You will also be able to monitor and observe the health of your garden when you use a hose.
Using a hose doesn't necessarily mean you have to stand there with one in hand. There are many fine soaker hoses available. Just place them where watering is required and you'll get a nice, even distribution of water.
What Is the Best Way To Water Plants?
How you water makes a huge difference in the health of your garden. The important thing to remember is to focus on the roots instead of the foliage. You need to be getting water to the area where it matters most.
Watering the uppermost portion and foliage of a plant confers minimal benefit. Too much water on foliage can even lead to plant health issues. If you are keeping the soil around the plant moist, the leaves will be fine.
Here's where a good mulch comes in. Watering plants is more effective when you mulch. The mulch you choose helps to spread the water evenly, and it creates a nice, slow disbursement to the root system.
When you learn how to water plants correctly, keeping your garden in top shape becomes a joy. Doing it right saves both time and money, and it cuts back on the physical labor of gardening.