Having spent the last few months coaxing seeds and plants to grow, everything in the garden and allotment is now shooting off at a crazy speed. Suddenly it feels as if I’m in a race to provide the plants with what they need in order to thrive.
Watering forms a big part of this job; with the summer months upon us and plants growing so fast, the demand for water is at it’s peak. Providing your plants with adequate water at this time of year can be a bit of a minefield, so here are some tips for getting garden watering right in summer.
Water at the right time of day
If you can, avoid watering at the warmest times of day when lots of water will be lost to evaporation. The ideal time to water is in the early morning; this limits evaporation and helps plants deal with the heat. If you can’t manage garden watering in the morning, the next best option is early evening – don’t leave it too late though, you want leaves to dry off before night to avoid mildew and mould problems.
One of the simplest ways to give yourself an easy supply of water for the garden is to collect rainwater. It’s also a great way to reduce your impact on the planet and, if you have a water meter, your water bill too. Water butts are available in various sizes and are simple to install, you just need to connect them to a downpipe or guttering.
Don’t waste time watering little and often; this encourages weeds and can also cause plants to make roots near the surface, which makes them vulnerable. Instead, water the soil around plants really thoroughly, making little ponds around them so the water can really soak in. Watering this way supports plants for much longer, so you need to water less often, giving you more time to sit back and enjoy your garden.
Use a good hose
Watering is one of those garden jobs that can be transformed with the right piece of equipment. Unless you have a very limited number of plants to water you’re going to need a hosepipe, which can bring it’s own set of issues. If you’re buying a standard hosepipe, try to go for a good quality one with sturdy piping; this will avoid lots of kinks and interruptions to the flow of water. It’s a good idea to invest in a nozzle that gives you a few options for the spray, so you can treat smaller plants gently and really target the water where it needs to go. The new expandable, lightweight hoses are great if you’re tight on space and don’t want to lug around a heavy reel.
Do you have any top tips for effective garden watering? Let me know in the comments.