By Michael Jenkins | April 22
Whether you view it as a time-consuming chore or a daily chance to connect with your space, it’s a fact that watering your plants is a necessary part of having a garden of your own. From a collection of plants in containers to more expansive spaces, most gardens require watering or irrigation in order to thrive. As each species or type of plant has its own needs when it comes to watering and nutrition, watering your plants requires a bit of understanding and know-how. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips and tricks for watering your garden which might help you get the most out of the season.
As with so many things in our lives, when it comes to watering your garden timing is everything. While theories and superstitions abound regarding the best time to water your plants, most experts agree that the optimal time to water or irrigate your garden is when the sunlight is weakest, the ground is coolest, and the plants will have the most time to dry before nightfall. While conditions vary from place to place, for most of us this means the best time to water our plants is early in the morning, between 5AM and 9AM. As we’ve said, though, some plants have different needs so be aware of what’s growing in your space.
Speaking of timing, another common question is how often to water your garden. Again, different spaces, locations, and plants have different needs, but in general it is best to water less frequently but more thoroughly. By soaking the soil to a depth of six inches (15cm) once or twice a day, you’ll be helping your plants absorb water and nutrition more efficiently while better maintaining soil health. It’s a big change in habit for many home gardeners, but it makes an equally big difference in the health of your plants.
Timing is important, but it’s equally important to use efficient watering practices. This means ensuring that the water you’re providing gets to your plants in a way that they can use it. Watering the base of your plants puts water directly into the soil by the roots of the plants, enabling them to use it more effectively. If you use containers, Gardzen Marry Pots enable you directly water the base, in which water will be guided into soil and roots thoroughly. Combined with well-timed deep watering as we discuss above, it goes a long way towards helping your plants thrive. Watering from overhead—spraying your plants from above with a hose, for example—is not only ineffective but potentially harmful. The water doesn’t reach the soil so the plants get less of it, and the water on the foliage can attract pests and fungus. Watering at the base directly onto the soil—gently and without disturbing it—is the best approach for most plants.
For larger, more expansive gardens, the right irrigation systems are the most effective way to water. There are a variety of ways to do this, but generally speaking an on-the-ground irrigation system best fulfills all of the requirements we’ve laid out in this article. These come in a variety of forms, from gravity powered systems to soaker hoses to micro-drip irrigation systems. These are easy to install—the best don’t require digging and attach directly to your outdoor hose or spigot. They provide slow and efficient watering to the base of the plant, letting the moisture soak in deeply and thoroughly. They save both water and time, and a good system will last for years and years. They’re a good choice for gardens of any size.
We hope this brief guide to watering helps you make the most of your garden this season. By adopting more efficient and effective watering practices, you’ll make life much easier on yourself and your plants. Let us know if it helps and please show us how you water your garden! We love seeing your photographs and hearing your stories, so get in touch!