Watering plants seems like a pretty simple procedure. Turn on the hose, aim and fire. While it isn’t rocket science and whichever way you water is better than not watering at all, there are tricks that the pro in the know will apply to H2O.
Here are five of them…
- Water in the morning before it gets hot. Water droplets on leaves can act like a magnifying glass hovering over your plant when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. The sun can actually burn your plants. Watering in the evening means your plant goes into that good night with wet leaves which can promote all kinds of nasty diseases. My father in law had an incredible vegetable garden. He worked nightshift as a janitor and would water his garden around 6 a.m. when he got home from work. I always thought it was because it was the best time for his schedule, but looking back I’m sure he also knew it was the best time for the plants.
- Put down some mulch. Using bark chips, pea gravel or even straw helps prevent water from splashing soil onto the leaves of the plants. All kinds of diseases can be passed along to your plants from the soil. Mulch also keeps the water from evaporating too quickly, which means you don’t have to water so often.
- If you use water from a municipal treated system be sure to fill barrels, troughs or watering cans with water at least 24 hours before applying to your plants. This allows time for chemicals used to treat the water to dissipate before applying to your plants. Be sure your water containers don’t pose a drowning hazard for children, pets or wildlife.
- Add a few handfuls of herbs. Make a sun tea full of nutrients for your plants by simply adding some herbs to the water and letting them steep for at least a day. Nettles, chamomile and comfrey are especially good sources for making a natural plant tea fertilizer. If you are using a watering can and don’t want to clog up the rose, simply wrap the herbs in a cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band before putting in the water. That way it can be easily removed.
- Use warm water. You don’t like being blasted with cold water and neither do your plants. Using ice cold water straight from a hose or sprinkler can shock your garden and even stunt its growth. Again, leaving water to sit in the sun is the best way to ensure the water is at an optimum temperature before applying to your plants.