Watering Your Garden
Watering Your Garden – Proper Techniques
Many gardeners don’t think about how they water – they just go out, turn the hose on the sprinkler, and forget about it. Either that, or they use a watering can and give a gentle sip every morning.
However, there are proper techniques that will not only keep your garden healthier, it’ll teach them to grow stronger roots, disease will be less prevalent and, most importantly, you’ll save money by wasting less water.
Here are some tips for proper plant watering:
- Water in the early morning hours. This allows the plants and soil surface to thoroughly dry during the day – if watering in the evening, there is a chance for fungal disease to develop. Watering at peak hours is a waste of money and resources, as the water will simply evaporate. Sometimes, it will evaporate so fast that your plant leaves will become damaged through burning. (Think of yourself at the beach, without sun screen. Your skin will burn much, much faster if you are wet.)
- Water deeply and infrequently. Water them about twice a week. Count to twenty five on each plant. When you water this way, you encourage plants to grow deep roots that will serve them well in times of drought.
- Water the soil at the base of the plant – don’t just fling the water around casually onto the plant leaves. Plants take up water through their roots.
- Instead of a nozzle or sprinkler, invest in a watering wand. The rosette, or breaker, on the end of the wand provides a gentle shower of water for the plants, and will not forcefully erode the soil while you water.
Another option, if you use a lot of containers, is to grow plants like tomatoes (and other plants that are sensitive to fluctuations in moisture content) in self watering containers
These containers (or conversion kit to fit into a container) allow you to fill up a reservoir under the soil where the plants grow. The water is drawn upward into the container through a wicking system, thus keeping the plants evenly moist. These containers are also great for people who travel frequently. If you’re the type of person that forgets to water your peace lily, self-watering containers are also useful. Peace lilies frequently look fine, fine fine, fine, then suddenly dead, due to inconsistent water fluctuations.
Overwatering can kill a plant just as under-watering will. Overwatering keeps the soil saturated, which means that oxygen cannot reach the plant roots. This can lead to root-rot. Under-watering causes a loss of water pressure throughout the plant, and a plant can reach a “permanent wilting point,” which is the point beyond which, it will not revive, regardless of the amount of water that you give it.
Keeping those tips in mind will help you water your plants with exactly the right touch.