Do You Know When to Water Your Garden?

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I was happily watering my garden yesterday when my wife asked me "How do you know when to water your garden"?

A simple question with a simple answer. I water them in the evening when the sun has gone down. A long discussion ensued as to why I watered my garden at this time of day and not in the morning and the reason was that for 30 years I have always done it at that time of the day. But there are very good reasons why, in most cases, this is the best time to water your plants.

Water is valuable

If you water your garden in the middle of the day a large amount of it will simply evaporate away without ever getting to the roots of the plants you are trying to grow. By watering at this time you are wasting it. To conserve water in your garden it is very beneficial to put mulch around your flowers and vegetables. The watering will go through the mulch but will not evaporate as fast. You will reduce the volume of water you need to use with this tip.

Evening watering gives your flowers time to absorb the moisture

By watering after the sun has gone down the water can slowly work its way into the soil and penetrate the roots that are deep in the ground. It can stay there all night feeding your precious garden before sunrise. The roots will be fully replenished and the plants will be fit to do its stuff for the next day.

The flowers and vegetables know there is no drought

Now I am not saying that flowers and vegetables have a brain here. What I am saying is that if they are starved of water they go into drought mode and start looking after their core parts rather than waste time producing flowers or vegetables. So you end up with stem and leaf but not end product. If there is a regular watering regime then the flowers and vegetables �know� and start producing their crop or blooms.

Plants differ in their watering needs and daily watering can be too frequent for some. Plants with very shallow root systems will need daily watering and so will plants that are fast growing such as tomatoes. Other plants such as shrubs and bushes have deep roots and can cope with less frequency.

Regular watering is the key to successful vegetables

When you water vegetables you should keep the time intervals regular which is why I do it every evening. If the soil is still moist from the previous day I only give the plot a small amount of water. If the day has been scorching hot I will almost over water everything. If you miss a few days your vegetables will not grow evenly and some will split and fall from the plant. Some plants such as marrows are almost impossible to overwater because they are so hungry. You need the plant raised slightly from the ground around it to prevent it rotting in the damp.

So when I was asked that innocent question "how do you know when to water your garden?" I had to really think through the reasons for it. I hope you can see that evening watering is the best time to water your flowers and vegetables

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There are many more useful gardening tips to help you out in your garden. Ken H Jones writes from his experience of running a gardening centre in the past and his current enjoyment of his own small garden.

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