As a garden coach I get more questions about watering than anything else.
Here are 3 tips to water your garden more efficiently.
These tips are ideals, the most important thing is to make sure your garden is getting watered. So, if you aren’t able to follow all of these guidelines all of the time, don’t sweat it.
1. How you Water is Important
Whether you are using a watering can or garden hose you want to try to water close to the soil, near the base of the plants. This ensures that more water goes directly to the plants’ root systems.
2. When you Water Matters
The best time of day to water your plants is early in the morning. This gives plants plenty of time to absorb the water before the mid day heat sets in and speeds up evaporation.
Watering in the evening or later in the day can problematic. Any water that gets on the foliage of your plants may not have time to dry before night fall and this can attract certain pests and diseases.
3. How much and How Often
Once your plants are established try watering more thoroughly less often. Watering more deeply less often encourages strong root development making plants stronger and more productive.
If you aren’t sure if its time to water, try digging down into your soil a bit. You can use a garden trowel or dig with your hand. If the top layer is dry but the soil is still pretty moist lower down then you can wait to water. If most of it is dry, go ahead and give it a good thorough watering.
Tips to Get the Most out of Every Drop
Putting down a thick layer of organic material helps keep the soil cooler, which in turn slows the rate of water evaporation. This means having to water less often. Woo hoo!
You can use compost, straw, or hardwood mulch.
Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the plant’s root system where it is needed most. Which means they are much more efficient than sprinklers. Drip irrigation can help save as much as 30%-50% of water compared to overhead watering.
Rainwater is great for plants. Not only is it untreated, unlike water from your garden hose, but it also is a great way to conserve water and save you some money on your water bill. Rain barrels are ridiculously easy to install on your downspouts. They are also great to use on your potted flowers or herbs as well as your indoor plants.
Weeds are competition. Keep your garden relatively clear of weeds so every precious drop of water goes to the roots of your fruits and veggies.
What do you do to help conserve water in your garden?