Summer is coming, and with that, gardeners everywhere are pulling on their gloves, dusting off their shovels, purchasing seeds, and getting into the dirt. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a novice, knowing how to keep your garden properly watered is an important skill to develop. Here are some tips to improve your watering game.
Know your plants: If you have raised any plants even indoors you know that there is one formula for watering. How much to water and how often depends on multiple factors, such as thency type of plant, the soil quality, and conditions like weather and placement, just to name a few. Get to know your plants by doing your research and also by paying attention, so that you're giving each type of plant just what it needs.
Avoid the leaves: Wet leaves are more susceptible to disease and fungus, so do what you can to water the soil of your plants, rather than their leaves.
Go deep: The part of your plants that need water are the roots. If you water for a short time, the moisture may not go far enough, leaving the roots dry. Experts recommend watering for a longer period of time once or twice a week, with the goal of soaking the soil to about eight inches deep.
Water in the morning: Water your plants in the morning while it's still cool, so that the roots and soil have time to absorb the moisture before it gets burned off by the heat. If you can't water in the morning, shoot for later afternoon or evening, when temperatures are cooler, rather than in the heat of the day.
Mind the weather: Pay attention to the rain and the dry spells, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Don't overwater: Overwatering can be as detrimental to plants as underwatering. Signs of overwatering include wilting, fungus, and yellow leaves. If the soil seems dry but your plants are showing these signs, it may mean that you are watering too frequently but not long enough, so the water is not reaching the roots where it's really needed.
Mulch, mulch, mulch: Mulch is anything used to cover up the soil, such as grass clippings, wood chips, or even newspaper. A good quality mulch will protect the soil, help it to stay moist, and can even provide valuable nutrients. Use a few inches of mulch to keep your garden from drying out too quickly.
Test the soil: Don't just guess about whether your plants need water check it out for yourself by digging down a few inches, both before and after watering. This will let you know if the soil is truly dry, and if you have watered enough to reach the thirsty root systems of your plants.
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