Whether you’ve got a green thumb for herbs and veggies, or you prefer the beauty of blossoms, you rely on rain to keep your garden hydrated. When Mother Nature doesn’t supply enough or the soil dries out from heat or sun, it’s up to us to tend to our thirsty plants.
Watering is more than just aiming your hose and spraying. If you’re getting ready to plant or sow seeds, follow these simple tips to ensure you’re watering correctly, and you’ll be rewarded with a lush and healthy garden all season long.
Do Water Often: New plants or fast-growing ones need lots of water to put down strong roots. Be sure to water frequently so they won’t wilt or dry up.
Don’t Skimp on Water: A quick spritz of the hose is not enough. Concentrate on thoroughly soaking the soil surrounding the plant so that water can penetrate deep to reach the roots.
Do Stick to a Schedule: It’s best to water your garden early in the morning or later in the evening, while it's still cool out. There is less water evaporation during these times and your plants will get maximum hydration benefits. Cool temps also help prevent the development of fungal diseases that thrive on high humidity.
Don’t Forget to Mulch: Weeds take up a lot of water away from the plants you’ve worked so hard to grow, so be sure to pull them or use about two inches of mulch as a natural weed barrier. An added bonus is that mulch will keep the soil moist when the sun is at its hottest as well as provide additional nutrients to keep it fertile.
Always save and reuse water wherever you can. Collecting rain in barrels is a great example of using natural resources in a sustainable way.
You can learn all about watering and other essential tips by watching our Healthy Garden Series featuring our friends at Rodale Institute.