Watering the Garden – What You Need to Know
How often to water your garden.
It depends a few different factors, of course the weather is the most critical factor, if there is a hot spell or a heatwave you are going to be needing to water every day or sometimes even twice a day.
Other factors for how often and how much to water include the type of soil you have.
– If you have sandy soil, you are going to need to water more often than if you have clay soil. Sandy soil doesn’t hold onto water as well.
– Clay soil holds the water for much longer and means you wont need to water as often.
Applying mulch is a great idea, and this really holds onto water and reduces the work you have to do in the garden in terms of watering.
If you have large bushes and trees they will take a lot of water but also survive for longer thanks to their deep roots.
If you are talking about seeds, vegetables, bedding plant and most perennials, they all tend to have more shallow roots and therefore need more frequent watering.
Best time to water the garden.
The best time to water is definitely early in the morning. Anything before 8 / 9am when the sun is still low and there is no chance of scorching.
You can also water in the late afternoon, after 5pm when the sun is lower and cooler.
This is the best time as if you wait too later and water in the late evening, the damage from the heat and dryness will have already been done.
If you water in the middle of the day you risk scorching the leaves with the cold water on their hot surface. This will damage the plants, sometimes even killing them.
Why use a timer to water your garden?
Many people think a weather sensor to water their garden is too high tech and unnecessary for the novice gardener.
However, they really are easy to set up, do not cost a lot of money and once is it is place, it does its job without further work. It eliminates the need to have to spent half an hour or more watering the garden every day in the summer. You can your timer up to a sprinkler system and sit back and relax whilst the timer and system does the hard work for you.
Some of the fancy timers like the Hozelock Plus also have weather sensors, so you don’t have do anything at all. If the weather is drizzly or rainy, the sensor will know not to water your garden!
How much water to give to garden plants.
Ideally you want to average about 2 inches of watering each week overall.
Obviously this changes is the weather is particularly hot. Deep watering encourages deeper root growth and stronger, healthier plant. Whereas a small sprinkling of water more frequently and less deep leads to weaker roots as they have no need to grow down deeper to get the deeper water.
You can water using a hosepipe or watering can. The watering can and water butt option is more environmentally friendly but can be time consuming and awkward. Especially if you struggle to hold the weight of a full watering can.
The other option is to use drip feeders or a sprinkler system, this takes all of the hard work out of regular watering and ensures you garden will get all the water it needs, even if you forget to do it.