Watering can be the key to success in the garden and with your houseplants. Not surprisingly plants without water die ! Plants can drown with too much H²O so watering is a skill worth learning.
It sounds so easy when you are told to ‘water your plants’. Well so it is but there is many a slip twixt watering can and lip. Remember you are watering the soil not the leaves.
Conserving Water in the Garden
- Dig in bulky organic matter to increase the water carrying capacity of your soil.
- Keep the surface mulched to avoid evaporation.
- Keep soil weed free. Weeds compete for moisture and evaporate through their leaves.
- Wind increases evaporation so build wind breaks.
- On sloping land sow across the slope reducing run off and soil errosion problems.
- Plant water hungry plants together where rainfall will be highest. Do not bother to water lawns they will recover from most drought conditions when it rains.
I was taken with the though of best tips for watering a garden after a chance discussion. Last night at the Bridge club (or the pub afterward) I was asked about the different growth rates of apparently identical plants. Mike and I put it down to water so here are my top tips
- God’s own water is best! If we could arrange a steady drizzel from dusk to dawn through summer our gardens would be lush and our crops juicy and large. A slow steady rain (rather than a thunderstorm) will build up moisture in the soil without water logging or running off too quickly.
- God’s own water is second best as well. By that I mean rain water caught in a bucket or barrel to be watered in by can or sprayer when needed. I collect rain water off the greenhouse roof (as it may dissolve more chemicals off an asphalt surface). Either way the rain water is softer and more balanced than tap water and is at surrounding temperature when used.
- I try not to use water from the barrel on seedlings to minimise damping off (rotting caused by microbes).
- Sprinklers or hose pipes need to be given chance to provide a good soaking so I believe in the longer and slower method so the water can really penetrate the top 4 inches or so of soil. A quick splash can do more harm than good bringing roots to the surface.