Are you watering your plants the right way?
Since I have an obsession with gardening, my friends often call me asking a million questions. I just got off the phone with my good friend who just built her first garden (yay she rocks!) and she was asking me all about watering her garden.
How much is too much? Or too little? What time should I water them? Do I need to buy a moisture reader?
I always get asked these questions so today I want to set the story straight!
As a general rule your garden needs 2″ of water per week. You can buy a rainfall gauge at any Home Depot or any garden centre to measure this.
Soil and Size Matters
What kind of soil you have is going to make a difference to how it holds water.
Sandy – holds less water
Clay – holds more water
Mulched gardens – hold water in
Size Matters: if you have tiny seedlings, they will drink less water than huge plants.
Bigger plants = more water
What Time Do Your Plants Want To Drink At?
9:47 am – No earlier, no later.
Here’s the deal. When the sun is beating down your watering efforts are much less useful. Firstly the beads of water left on the leaves can act as a magnifying glass and leave burn spots on the plant (for real). Secondly, if it’s the middle of the day, super hot and sunny, the water is going to evaporate quickly.
Also at the beginning and end of the season, when the nights are getting chilly your plants might get too cold. Think about having a shower and sitting naked outside at night in the fall or early spring.
So water your plants in the morning, or late afternoon.
**Also when a hose is sitting out in the sun, the water is super hot, plants like being sprayed with boiling hot water, just as much as you do!**
Making It Easy
I cannot stress this enough. BUY A WATER TIMER!
Whether you are going to go all out and install drip irrigation, or simply use a sprinkler or a sprinkler hose. PLEASE remember be telling you to buy a timer.
You do not want to be a slave to your garden, having a timer will eliminate the oops I forgot to water the garden before work, and now everything is dead factor.
Plus think about being able to go camping, or boating, and on a roadtrip without having to find a babysitter to water your garden.
How Do I Know When To Water
I always get asked about moisture readers, my answer is always the same.
Do you have fingers? Then you don’t need a moisture reader.
Stick your finger 3″ into the soil, if it is dry, water the garden.
Even in hot weather, plants that are wilting slightly are NOT a sign of a plant in need of water, check the soil, it’s the only way to know for sure. A slightly wilting plant may just be reducing moisture loss through it’s leaves.
Why Is Watering The Right Way So Important?
Your plants will die without water, so that’s a big one. But even watering too much or too little will stress out your plants, they will taste bitter, become tough, and really slow down production. This is because they have to focus on rebuilding their roots, instead of making you food!
- check with your finger 3″ into the soil
- water in the morning or late afternoon – don’t burn the leaves
- bigger plants need more water
- make sure water is cool
- buy a water timer
take action right now!
go check all your plants and water them properly
Share this article with anyone who has plants, or is infamous for killing house plants.