Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Watering advice

by Diane - June 18th, 2013.
Filed under: allotment.

Limit what you water in the garden and on the allotment. Many people spend hours each evening after work watering their plot each night.
Whilst watering can appear to help your plants it’ll often make them more dependent on being watered regularly because their roots stay near the surface because of the watering, rather than going down looking for water.

Before you water why not dig a small hole in the soil and see whether the soil is moist underneath. The soil will be darker and you’ll tell that it is moist enough underneath to not water.

If you use multipurpose compost then this can dry out very badly on the surface and appear to form a crust, check under this to see if it is damp underneath.

When you do water you need to water the right amount and then reduce losses.
Water early or late. Don’t water plants during the middle of the day as the heat of the sun will evaporate more water.
Water the plants that need it – not every plant.
Many people only water newly planted plants and seedlings and pots. You shouldn’t have to water plants in open ground at all once they are established. In hot weather you might have to water plants a couple of times to ensure they are off to a good start, but after that leave them alone!

Mulch, mulch, mulch! With whatever organic materials are to hand: grass clippings, bark chippings, newspaper, straw etc. Water and then mulch. The mulch helps retain the moisture under the soil.

Water the plant not a wide area. For water hungry plants like courgettes you can even insert a funnel into the ground to direct the water to the roots. Prepare the soil with plenty of organic matter – not only does it provide food for greedy plants but it’ll also hold water for the roots to find.

Use rainwater as much as possible. Keep a container inside the greenhouse to water plants from. This ensures the water is closer to the same temperature as the plants.

Plant at recommended spacings as these allow for the right amount of air around the plant – and allow enough root space for plants to find food and water.