By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
While watering a plant may seem to be as easy as breathing, it can be a difficult task especially if you are an impatient gardener.
Improper watering can cause plant damage along with making your garden plot a haven for plant diseases but following these 3 simple ways of proper watering can reduce the chances of plant damage.
Prior to any watering program, one must look at the time of day that they are watering.
It is always best to water in the morning but due to busy schedules sometimes this is not possible.
The next best time to water is in the evening but make sure that the sun is still up when you water. The importance of this will become evident later.
Once you start watering during the correct time of day, the next step is how to water. Below are 3 time-tested techniques that will allow you to water thoroughly without causing plant problems.
1. Watering Globes are one technique that can both be functional and decorative all at the same time. These can be store bought or handmade but regardless of which you choose the principle of how they work is the same. These water globes are filled with water and then turned upside down and placed into the soil.
The water moves out of the container through capillary action. Homemade versions can have a store bought nipple placed on the end to allow water to leach into the soil at a deeper level, which means a more efficient way of watering since you are watering where the roots are located. This technique is great for small gardens and container gardens.
2. Trickle or Soaker Hose is another technique that the gardener can use but this does take some planning. This type of hose has little holes in it that allows water to seep into the soil slowly, which means little runoff and water loss due to evaporation. This technique is great for all types of gardens.
3. Traditional Watering with a Garden Hose is the last technique. This time-tested technique is great for small gardens and container gardens but improper use of the hose can create problems. To prevent plant disease, one needs to water the soil not the leaves of the plants. The easiest way of doing this is to lay the hose down underneath the plants and allow the water to flow but if the soil is bare or hard this simple step can dislodge the dirt.
The best approach when using a watering hose is to place a sprinkling nozzle on the end and water underneath the plant material. This nozzle will keep the gardener from causing soil or plant damage while providing a complete soaking of the terra firma.
Proper watering is one more secret that the successful gardener knows about and uses. The technique you choose depends on your time, size of garden and skill but regardless of which you choose always check the soil moisture before watering.
So until we blog again, while Mother Nature’s tears are always best it is our role as successful gardeners to know when she needs a few artificial tears.