How to water your garden
Water is essential for our plants to survive and thrive, but ensuring their roots have access to the right amount at the right time can be a bit tricky, especially as most of our gardens are a collection of plants with a wide variety of water needs. Here are a few tips on watering your garden more efficiently this season.
- Mulch….and then mulch again. Mulching can reduce water evaporation from the soil by up to 70%. It is such a simple way to conserve such a precious resource, and not only will the mulch protect the soil, but it will feed the soil and your plants as it decomposes.
- Know your plants. Some plants such as olives have evolved in very dry climates and require a lot less water than plants such as willows that like moist to wet soil.
- Group your plants. Garden beds containing plants with similar water needs will make watering a lot easier and more efficient.
- Young and establishing plants require special attention as they are vulnerable to drying out. Keep an eye on them as they will require more frequent watering than established plants.
- Get a moisture meter. They are readily available, cheap, and can be helpful in deciding whether to water or not.
- Water early in the morning or in the evening. Watering in the middle of the day is wasteful as much of the water evaporates before the plant can use it. If watering at the end of the day try to keep the water off the foliage as this can promote leaf diseases.
- Invest in a drip system. By far the most efficient way to water is through using a pressure-compensated drip system. The drippers emit water at a set rate so you know exactly how much water your garden is getting, and more drippers can be placed around plants with higher water needs.
- Don’t over-water. You would be surprised how many plants are killed from too much of a good thing. Over-watering promotes shallow rooting, root rot and a myriad of other problems.
Water is the lifeblood of plants and using it more efficiently will be great for your plants, the environment, and your wallet. Happy gardening.