- How much should you water your garden?.
There is no single way to answer this question. The counter depends on the type of soil you have, needs of the plants you’re growing, air temperature and humidity.
Soil- If you have a sandy soil, the water runs right through it and you’ll need to water more. Clay soil holds the water longer and requires less.
Plant needs- Some plants like to sit in water. Some are easily damaged by too much water. You’ll need to know what your plants need to determine how much to water. Read the seed package if you are growing from seed or ask the garden center if you are buying seedlings.
Temperature- When the weather is warmer; the soil dries out more quickly so water more.
Humidity- Evaporation takes place more quickly in a dry desert than in a tropical rain forest. Water more in extreme dry and windy conditions.
- How should you water?
When watering from the top, simulate the rain. Don’t use a high pressure explosion, which damages topsoil and, of course, can spoil the plants as well.
- Is there a way to test if plants are getting enough water?
First, if your plants are becoming yellow and it’s not due to too much heat, there’s a good chance the soil is too dry. Wilting can have a number of causes, but if you see wilting, check to see if the soil is too dry.There are gadgets to help you determine the dryness of the soil, but probably the best test is a manual one. Stick your finger down into the soil as deep as it will go. Use a gloved hand if you don’t like getting your hands dirty. Be careful not to spoil plant roots. You should try to get down over six inches because plant roots hang out between six to twelve inches deep. If your finger comes up dry, you probably need to water. If not, you can wait.
- How long should I water?
It’s a fine idea to test how long it takes to go through below the six inch level. When you look at the soil, it looks wet enough. But dig down just a little and it’s still bone dry.You can learn a lot by watering for a while and measuring the depth of the moist soil. Then water longer and measure again. Repeat this until the soil is moist below six inches and record how long it takes to get there. It will take a while. In the future, you can use this amount of time as a rule of thumb when you’re watering.
- When should you water?
If you use drip, it’s most likely best to water in the late afternoon or early evening because you don’t have to worry about getting the leaves wet. Watering late in the day increases the chances of fungal diseases because leaves remain moist all night long.If you water from the top, it’s probably best to do it in the morning so the leaves can dry before night. No matter what method you use, you should avoid the heat of the day. Watering during the heat also wastes water because of the high levels of evaporation.
- How can you reduce the amount water you need?
Mulch helps conserve water. The deeper the mulch the slower soil will dry out.
- Does the water temperature make any difference?
At the start of the growing season you are often trying to warm the soil. Cold water can decrease the soil temperature significantly. Better to let the water warm in the sun before using it with your new seedlings.
- Does watering plants when it is too hot help to keep them growing?
All plants stop growing when the temperature surpasses a definite point. Watering can lower the temperature when it’s too hot for growth. But we would advise against it because of the chance that the sun will be exaggerated by the droplets and result in plant scalding. Instead, let the plants naturally resist against the heat. This will give confidence to deep root growth, which is good for your plants.