The Best Way to Water the Plants
Watering plants is one the most crucial aspects of gardening. The task might look pretty easy apparently. However, the reality is that there are a lot of aspects associated with watering. Let us look into them one by one.
Firstly I would like you to remember three aspects before you start gardening – the type of plants you have in your garden, the capacity of the soil of your garden to retain the moisture, the climate of the place where you reside.
The type of plants you have in your garden
Plants that come up with extensive and widespread root system, or the ones that have some extra capacity to store moisture can survive even on less water. These plants are drought tolerant and can even do without much of water. However, the non drought tolerant plants, on the other hand, would need a lot of water for surviving. Hence, the extent of water that you need to provide will depend upon the type of plants in question.
The capacity of the soil of your garden to retain the moisture
The type of soil you have in your garden is another determining factor when it comes to deciding the amount of water your garden will need. Plants that grow in fast draining sandy soil will need more frequent watering than their counterparts that grow on heavier soil or soil that is well mulched and holds more water and for longer period of time. For sandy soil, you need to mulch the soil more.
The climate of the place where you reside
The climate where your garden is located will obviously determine the amount of water the garden will need.
Let us now discuss some aspects of gardening.
The golden rule of watering
When it comes to watering, you need to make sure that you water as deeply as possible, keeping a long gap between the two watering sessions as possible. You need to see that when you water there is at least 6 to 8 inches depth of water. This will help the plant roots to grow adequately and get deeper into the soil.
Again, make sure that there is enough gap between two watering sessions. In other words, water as infrequently as possible. Light watering at frequent and regular intervals is NOT an ideal thing to practice, as this will only make the surface moist and will encourage the roots to grow in an upward direction in search of adequate moisture. Moreover, the water will vaporize in no time, living the inner part of the soil virtually dry and untouched.
The best time to water the plants
When it comes to watering, the best time of the day to do so has to be in the morning. Firstly, the mornings are cooler than the day, and so it will be easier for you to take the trouble of watering and do so with utmost care for a considerable period of time. Secondly and more importantly, it gives the plant adequate time to make the most use of the water all throughout the day. It can absorb the water and ready itself to encounter all the heat and chill depending upon the time of the year. It also helps to acquire the energy that it needs to produce the chlorophyll and grow or move the nutrients all around its body.
One constraint of watering plants in evening or late afternoon is that the plant remains wet as the temperature has by now subsided. That means the plants remain wet and moist all throughout the night, allowing the mildews and molds, and various types of diseases to accumulate and grow.
So the simple rule is that, you water deep, as irregularly as possible and do it in the morning.
Now let us look into some other rules that you need to keep in mind, while you water your plants.
- Keep the plants evenly moist: Plants love to get watered evenly. Hence, when you water you need to make sure that you water it evenly. However, you need to keep a big gap between two watering sessions, as that will encourage the root system to go deeper into the soil in search of water. Hence, irregular watering will only promote root growth.
- Water seldom and thoroughly: Generally speaking, watering once or twice a week is more than sufficient. It is ideal to water irregularly, but then when you do so, do it thoroughly. This will help proper root growth. This is always a better practice than watering little at frequent intervals.
- Water either early in the morning or late in the evening: It is ideal to water early in the morning as it gives the plants the opportunity to gather the strength to fight the heat and chill throughout the day. However, it is also a fairly good idea to water plants late in the evening as less water will evaporate from the soil that it does during the day, and the plants can gather enough moisture to fight the heat the next day. But again, another school of thought says that the wetness of the plants encourage the mildews and molds to grow, destroying the plants. I have, hence always preferred watering early in the morning.
- Keep the leaves dry: Wet leaves generally grow a propensity to grow diseases. Particularly, when they are kept wet overnight, various leaf-mould diseases might creep in. Again, if you leave the leaves wet and dry out in sun that will leave sun marks on them. Hence, it is best to leave them dry.