Watering Plants

Watering Your Plants: What you need to know

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make is to not properly water their garden. 


What NOT to do

-watering little and often

-watering during midday sun

-watering the leaves and flowers


What TO do

-watering deeply and infrequently 

-watering early is best

-watering at the plant's base

How often should I water?

When watering your garden it is important that you water deeply and infrequently. Ideally, you want to water your plants for several hours with a slow drop once a week. This encourages plants to put down roots. Exceptions to this are hanging baskets and containers which need watering every day, sometimes twice a day if it is hot and windy.  

If you are overwatering, your leaves start to brown at the edges and fall from the plant.

For those of you who are unable to water your plants for several hours, putting in a drip system may be best.


When should I water?

Watering between dawn and direct sun is ideal with the earlier being best. Ideally, you want to water between 6am and 10am.  Do not water in the evening because  the overnight moisture could promote fungal growth which may damage your plants. Watering midday, when  the sun is at its hottest is also something to avoid. At this time, plants are closed up tight to retain their water. Watering during this time leads to more water being wasted and evaporated. Rather than having a set schedule for watering your plants, check first to see if they need to be watered.

To know if your garden needs watering push your finger into the soil surrounding your plants. What you want is for the first two or three inches of soil to be dry with the soil below that moist. 

How should I water?

Watering at the base minimizes the amount of moisture that is lost to evaporation and reduces the risk of fungal growth due to wet leaves. However, watering overhead is sometimes called for. For example, watering overhead can help remove dust which has accumulated over the plant due to dry, windy days. This dust decreases the plants ability to photosynthesise. Watering overhead can also be used to hose off some of those unwanted insects from the plants. 

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