Taking into account all the health benefits it comes with, the popularity of gardening as a hobby shouldn’t surprise anyone. From serving as a great workout to boosting our mental health, gardening is something that many people can take up. However, if you’re a complete beginner, there is a lot you have to learn in order to have a successful garden. Proper watering is one of the basics you should master, so here are some useful tips to get you on the right path.
Water in the morning
For starters, you want to adopt the practice of watering your plants in the morning. No matter if you’re only taking care of a lawn or have a garden full of fruits and veggies, this lowers the chance of the water evaporating quickly without the roots getting a chance to absorb it. This part of the day should be cool and allow water to seep through the soil so that the plants have plenty of stored moisture that will help them withstand the summer heat. Moreover, if you water in the evening or at night, you provide fungus and disease with a great environment to spread, which can lead to unhealthy plants.
Avoid lightly watering too often
In addition to not watering at night, you also want to avoid watering too often and too little. Giving your plants or lawn just a little bit of water is a practice that encourages shallow root growth, which is something you don’t want. It’s best to water deeply, to a depth of 5 to 6 inches, as then you will have a healthier garden. Moreover, in terms of your lawn, you want to do it every three to four days and give it an inch of water a week. Trees and shrubs need watering every 7 to 10 days, while container plants need water once a day. Learn more about the species you’re growing for more details.
Direct water to the base of the plant
Something else to keep in mind is that you should be directing the water to the base of the plant, as that will ensure the roots are getting all the water they need. If you sprinkle the leaves instead, you’re inviting fungus and increasing the risk of diseases. Furthermore, you’re also more prone to losing water to evaporation and if the foliage is big, the water might never reach the ground at all.
Get the right equipment for your needs
To do everything properly, you should also get the right equipment. For instance, you can invest in a smaller sprinkler system with a water gauge and different delivery patterns that will ensure your lawn is watered adequately. On the other hand, when watering your trees and shrubs, you shouldn’t rely on sprinklers. Instead, look for a quality retractable hose reel that will make it easy to approach and water the trees in your garden. Moreover, for a veggie garden, a soaker hose is the best as it will provide the ground with all the water it needs. Lastly, use a watering wand for some annuals and perennials as it will not cast a wide spray like some hose nozzles.
Remember to check moisture levels
Although there are some rules of thumb that you can follow, you should also learn how to check the moisture levels. As overwatering is just as bad as underwatering, if not worse, you want to perform regular checks to see when the soil might need more water. While you can simply stick your finger a few inches into the ground, you can also keep a wooden dowel nearby and insert it into the ground to see if any moist soil sticks to it. If it comes out clean, it’s time for a soak. There are also digital soil moisture meters you can look into.
Don’t rely only on rain
Finally, it’s important to remember that you cannot always rely on rain to water your plants. As we said before, most plants require at least an inch of water on a weekly basis while they might need even more if the temperatures are high. Seeing as how rain oftentimes doesn’t come exactly when we need it, you cannot wait for it to water your plants. Moreover, quick showers are certainly not enough to provide your plants with enough water. Therefore, check the moisture levels and water accordingly.
If you’re starting a garden, keep these simple tips in mind for a successful endeavor.