Watering the garden seems like such a trivial task, but believe it or not, proper watering can make all the difference between success and failure.
Watering needs certainly vary based on location. Those who live in or near dessert-like conditions will always need to water more than those living in more temperate climates.
But no matter where you live, there are a few simple rules of watering that will make a big difference in your garden’s health and harvest.
Here is a look at 2 of the most commonly made mistakes when watering the garden, and how to avoid them to help keep your plants strong and healthy!
The 2 Most Common Mistakes Made When Watering The Garden
#1 Watering Too Often
Believe it or not, more damage is done to plants by having too much water, rather than too little.
Watering plants every day, or even every other day, cause big issues for a plant’s long-term health.
Plants that receive excessive watering fail to develop deep roots. Their roots stay near the surface because of the constant supply of water.
And unfortunately, a shallow root system creates a weak and feeble plant.
Without digging their roots deep, plants are unable to find the other minerals and nutrients they need to survive and thrive.
The result is a plant that produces less, and is extremely vulnerable to wind, storms, or even a short dry spell.
Too much water can also saturate the root area, leaving plants unable to soak up nutrients. This often shows up with the yellowing of leaves.
Plants that establish deep root systems absorb more water and nutrients. That creates healthy plants that are less vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
And when it comes to watering the garden, ultimately, plants with deep roots will require less watering.
Once a plant has become established after transplanting (usually within a week or two), they only require deep watering every 4 or 5 days.
Only water new transplants daily or every other day for that first week or two until their roots have adjusted to the soil. Then allow them to adjust to the longer watering cycle to develop those all-important deep roots.
And when watering, be sure to water deeply. Each plant should receive a quarter to a half gallon of water around the root zones.
This is especially important for crops like tomatoes and cucumbers that require a lot of water to produce a good crop. See : The Secrets To Growing Cucumbers
Gentle, slow watering of the roots zones are best. It allows plants to soak in the moisture through the roots without run-off.
Soaking or weeping hoses are perfect for this task, taking the water slowly right to the roots.
#2 Watering During The Heat Of The Day
That leads us to the second most common mistake made when watering the garden – watering at the wrong time.
If at all possible, never water during the middle or “heat” of the day!
Watering the garden as the sun shines bright and hot creates a whole array of issues for vegetable plants in the garden.
Plants are at their maximum stress level in the middle of the afternoon. And watering during this period actually piles on the stress level as opposed to helping relieve it.
Watering in the afternoon can easily burn and scorch the foliage and blooms of plants. Water droplets that land on leaves are heated up by the sun, causing damage and more stress.
In addition, the heat and sunlight evaporates the water quickly. The result is that the critical root zones of plants receive less of the water applied.
The optimum time to water a garden is in the early morning. Not only is the sun low, but the temperatures are cooler as well.
This allows the plants to soak up water easily, and prepare for the heat of the day ahead.
If early morning is not an option, then early evening is the second best choice.
One issue to be aware of with late-evening watering is plants can become more susceptible to mold and mildew from the foliage staying wet for long periods.
If temps are cool, or there has been heavy dew, watering the garden should be done only in the morning.
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