Learning new techniques in the garden can be difficult. You might feel overwhelmed with information at times, like a never-ending laundry list in your head. However, mastering a few foundational tips will save you from facing a world of other garden problems. Today we will cover everything you need to know about watering your garden properly. These tips will provide you with the best results possible.
We learned in previous blog posts that the best time to water is in the early morning. Watering the garden in the morning prepares your plants for the heat of the day. It also decreases the risk of powdery mildew that occurs when you water the garden at night.
Sometimes taking time to water your garden by hand will feel time-consuming. However, it's a wonderful way to feel connected to your garden and give yourself time to relax at the beginning or end of your day. Rainfall will inevitably water your plants from above, but that doesn't mean you always should. Moisture on the foliage of plants can increase the risk of fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Instead, use a hose on the shower or soaker setting and water near the base of each plant. Some varieties, like tomatoes, thrive in beds with even soil moisture, so be sure to water all of the soil, not just the soil near plants. After seedlings are established, water the garden about 1 inch of water per week.
When Is Overhead Sprinkling Okay?
Overhead watering is rarely necessary but affects some varieties less negatively than others. Onions, for example, don't face issues with above watering because their leaves are tall, sleek, and don't retain moisture. Cool-weather crops like peas and leafy greens are more tolerant to water from above. Other varieties may be very negatively affected by the above watering. One of the only situations where watering foliage can be helpful is when pests are detected. Spraying the leaves to remove aphids, for example, is completely acceptable. If you can, take care of these issues in the morning to give the leaves plenty of time to dry completely.
Setting up an irrigation system for your garden is the best way to save money on your water bill. Placing irrigation hoses directs water to exactly where it should go. This system also allows you to time the watering process to avoid overwatering. Overwatering is one of the number one killers of any plant. Check your soil moisture by poking it two inches down with your finger. If the soil is completely dry, it's time to water! If the soil is still wet an inch down, wait a little bit longer. Avoiding overwatering with irrigation will provide lower humidity around your plants and decrease the possibility of fungal issues.
Watering deeper than two inches of soil is called "deep watering." The deep watering method creates better root development for your plants. This method also helps larger plants with deeper root systems receive the nutrients they need. For more information on deep watering techniques, watch this video.
These simple watering tips will save you loads of time and trouble in the garden. If you have any questions for further detail, ask in the comments on Facebook or Instagram! I hope you enjoyed this post until next week!
– Kaitlynn from MIgardener
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