Water is our most precious resource. Wouldn’t it be great if you could save your time and money by just following a few tips? Plentiful spring rains are on their way but soon the summer sun will beat down relentlessly, scorching plants, lawns, and trees. And it is during this dry time we need to ask, is it the right time to water? Will it be enough to prevent the plants from drying out? While water is essential for any garden plant, other factors such as soil, humidity, and sunlight can make a big difference as well.
Here are five tips for a “Water-Wise” garden and remember being “Water Wise” not only conserves water but actually helps you achieve a healthy garden. Most importantly, watch the weather forecast and try to fine-tune your watering schedule.
- Water early in the morning, just as the sun rises, to avoid excess evaporation. If you wait until the heat of the day to water, it’s too late. If you water early, plant leaves will dry over the course of the day and prevent fungal growth.
- Encourage rooting by watering infrequently, deeply and thoroughly. Keep in mind that tomatoes can have roots that are two feet deep while other garden plants have much shallower root systems. A weekly soaking is better than a daily sprinkling.
- Look for a water nozzle with adjustable spray patterns to give your plants individual care. You can damage a plant with a forceful stream of water.
- Try using a soaker hose under a layer of mulch. Water is released along the entire length of the hose. This setup will slowly deliver water to your shrubs and garden plants. Automate your system by attaching a timer at the faucet to deliver water on time to thirsty plants.
- Add a layer of mulch around your plants as it will help to reduce soil evaporation, suppress weeds and keep the soil cool. Add a 2-inch layer of mulch or compost around your vegetables for this benefit.