When it comes to watering, there isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to do it. It’s all about paying attention to your plants and their surroundings. We all know what happens when we ignore our plants…so, as long as we’re giving them some TLC, we’re already on the right track!
Knowing when and how much to water is really based upon the type of plant, soil, weather, time of year, and a few other variables. Here are a few of the most important things to know about watering:
Focus on the root zone. Always remember that it’s the roots that always need the water. Watering the foliage is a waster of water, and can actually promote the spread of disease.
Water only when necessary. Set a reminder on your phone, or if you’re using sprinklers, automatic timers are super helpful. Just make sure you watch the weather, and hold off on watering if there is frequent rainfall. Too much water for plants can be just as damaging as too little.
Water deeply and thoroughly. Lawns and annuals concentrate their roots in the top 6″ of soil; for perennials, shrubs, and trees, it’s the top 12 inches. In heavy soil, it could take hours for water to make its way down to the roots, so you can use your finger or shovel to check the process.
Water in the morning. If you do happen to get moisture on the leaves, this gives them time to dry out by the afternoon.
Mulch. Mulch reduces surface runoff and slows water evaporation from the soil.
Use the right tool. Use a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system instead of a sprinkler.
Let’s keep those plants watered in this summer heat! Well watered plants are healthy plants!
–Digger O’Dell Team