Posted on July 26 2019
Drought and plants generally do not go together... especially during warm, dry summers plants that tend to dry out out are a real hazard. Even in winter you need to be vigilant and water some plants from time to time. How? Here are our tips!
When do I water my plants?
Refrain from watering your borderplants too quickly. When the top layer of the soil is dry, but layers underneath feel moist, your plants are still able to find water.But during extreme drought, when even deeper soil layers feel dry and plants start to wilt, it's time to water them. Best times are:
- early morning, before sunrise - the soil absorbs moisture fairly easily
- late evening, after sunset - plants can absorb water all night long
- but not when the sun shines, since water evaporates all too quickly
Please note: recently planted or sowed plants need more water than established plants. In this case the top layer of the soil should be somewhat moist too, to help these ''newcomers'' along.
What's the best way to water?
Pros and cons of watering cans, garden hoses, sprinklers or an automatic watering system:
A watering can allows you to give the right amount of water and give really thirsty plants something extra. Carrying heavy cans may be a real disadvantage.
Garden hose with spray gun
A garden hose reaches even to the far back of your garden. Its spray gun reduces watering time and helps to target water wherever you wish! An added advantage: you can water plants at their roots, just where water is most needed.
Sprinklers are used once or twice weekly, for at least 1-2 hours at a time. They operate very simply, are perfect for lawns and/or other large parts of the garden. However,a possible disadvantage is that you cannot take into account specific needs of some plants.Furthermore, plant leaves stay moist for a prolonged period of time which can cause mould - therefore sprinkling is less suitable for your borders.
Automatic watering system
Another option is an automatic watering system, which you install in your garden and connect to a simple computer. Choose from a variety of options in different price ranges.
If occasionally you wish to feed your plants a bit extra,add some liquid fertilizers to the water; when droughts occur use a little less than the indicated dosing.
How much water will my lawn need?
When sprinkling, it's rather hard to see if your lawn gets sufficient water. The simplest of methods to check this is to put an empty teacup on your lawn beforehand. Start sprinkling. The moment this cup is hall full of water your lawn has been watered sufficiently. Granted, it might not seem enough, but trust us: it is.
Watering in summer
In summer, when you enjoy warm and dry weather, your garden might not be as happy as you are... for plants get thirsty! The moment you notice brown or even dried leaves, it means you left watering too late. So, water your plants immediately and deeply whena warm and dry spell is forecast.
Watering potted plants
Potted plants are unable to find water in the soil, which is why they dry out quite quickly. So, water them generously, especially in summer. Place thirsty potted plants on terracotta saucers and pour some water in these saucers too. And remember: on sunny days hanging baskets need watering twice!
Drying out in winter
Deciduous plants rest in winter but evergreen plants keep evaporating moist through their leaves. That's why they may dry out in winter, especially during bright, frosty days with lots of sunshine and a cold northernly or easterly wind. Do protect these plants in time by covering them with fleece or pine branches.
Soil and position matter
Not only weather conditions are vital when deciding how much water your plants need, their soil and garden position matter too. Generally speaking, a plant facing south in sandy soil will almost certainly need more water than a plant facing north in peaty soil.