How Much Is Enough?
The best way to tell when a garden
needs watering is to look at it. If the soil is dry to a depth of a half an inch or so, it's time to water.
How often you need to water varies greatly with the temperature. With
high temperatures in the mid-70s, watering once a week will probably be
more than adequate. But when temperatures hit the mid-90s, you may need
to water as often as every other day. Other factors influencing the
frequency of watering are the nature of the soil, the amount of
sunlight, how well the garden is mulched and whether the plants are in
flower at which time they require more water. But always remember, you
can most definitely water too much.
When watering you want to make sure the soil is well moistened. This
can be time consuming, but it is better to water thoroughly once a week
than to give your garden a brief shower every day. Never use a spray
nozzle on a hose, the best way of controlling water flow is to use your
thumb. Always try to water the base of the plants, but in times of
meager rainfall you can give the foliage an occasional spray as well.
The best time to water is in the morning or early evening. Late evening
is probably the worst time to water, as it leaves the foliage damp at
night when molds and fungi are most active. But never let a bone-dry
garden go without watering simply because you can't do it at the
optimum time of day.Automating Your WateringIrrigation
systems can be great time savers for those with large
gardens or little time. The best use drip hoses to supply water
directly to the base of the plants. This minimizes the loss of water to
evaporation particularly in hot, dry climates. The most economical way
of creating an automatic watering system is to use soaker hoses and a
simple timer that fits onto the tap. Place the hoses under any mulch
and about six inches from the base of your plants. With just a minimum
amount of pressure, this hose can be left on for several hours. Keep an
eye on your garden's moisture and you'll save yourself much trouble and