How does your garden grow? Most everyone knows that a garden, just like a person, needs food and water to grow up healthy and happy. While it may seem like watering your garden is the easiest part about caring for it, there are some things you need to know in order to do it right. Not enough watering or too much present their own problems – here’s how you can avoid them!
General Watering Rules
In general terms, your goal when watering your garden should be to give it between one and two inches of water per week, with the preferred method being deep, intermittent watering instead of frequent but shallow watering. But as with everything else in life, this rule may need to be altered based on a few factors in your garden.
First and foremost, you have to think about your soil. If you have sandy soil, it holds less water. So, you may need to water more frequently with this type of loose soil. But if you have dense clay soil, it will hold water for longer, which means you may not have to water as much. Heavier soil will make it easier to accidentally over water your garden, too. This factor is what makes adding compost to your soil so important since healthier soil with a good consistency will hold water but also drain well. Applying mulch around your garden will help reduce watering needs too.
Another factor to think about is weather conditions. If it’s been dry and very hot, then you will need to water more frequently than if it’s been very rainy. This factor is pretty self-explanatory – you simply need to follow the weather patterns when assessing how much water your garden needs to stay healthy.
The final factor to consider is what kind of plants you’re watering since different kinds of plants have different watering requirements. In general, larger plants, as well as recently planted ones, will need to be watered more often. Any plant with a shallow root system such as many perennials, vegetables, and bedding plants will need more regular watering too, usually daily, especially in dry and hot conditions.
What Time of Day is Best?
Something else very important to consider is when you water your garden. The best time is in the morning before the day gets too hot in order to reduce evaporation. If morning doesn’t work with your schedule, you can also water in late afternoon.
How Much Water is Needed?
Remember that deep watering is what will encourage healthy root growth. So, watering your garden about two inches or so each week is the goal. If you water more frequently but don’t allow the water to penetrate deep into the soil, then you run the risk of encouraging weak root development and evaporation.
How to Water
Most people think that sprinklers are the way to go when it comes to watering, but they’re really not the best way to get water to your garden. Drip irrigation or soaker hoses are going to be better, helping water get directly to the roots where it’s needed. You can also water by hand, it just happens to take more of your time if you have a larger garden.
Following these tips will help you to grow a lush, healthy, and strong garden all season long!