The Right time to water plants in the garden : Guide & Tips
Watering your plants is not really a tedious task, unless you own a park-sized garden. You can do this leisure task manually using a hose or water pitcher but even the advancement of technology has made this job easier. So what makes it difficult to water the plants?
The answer depends on the type of plant, the soil, the weather, the time of year and many other variables. There are no hard or fast rules when it comes to watering, you just need to check the soil.
Most gardeners use a “Lift Test” process when they want to know if a plant needs some water or if it’s moistened enough. This process is easy to figure out what to do — even for an amateur.
In this article, we will provide you some information & tips on learning when and how to properly water a plant.
WHEN TO WATER PLANTS: Outdoor Garden
In The Soil
- The best time to water your plants is in the morning because it works with their natural growth cycle. When you live in a sunny region, make sure the water has plenty of time to seep into the soil and dry a little before the sun gets strong. If you wait until midday or later afternoon the sun may heat the water, thus burning the plants. Hot water can damage the roots, stem and leaves of the plants.
- Avoid watering your plants during the night as the water may sit on the leaves and stems instead of evaporating. It may then lead to mold and fungal growth on the plants.
Tips: Only water at night as a very last resort, if your plants are very thirsty. Use less water to avoid waterlogging, or use an irrigation tape or a soaker hose.
How often: You can water plants ONCE on a normal basis. It’s either Morning (9-10) or 2hours before sunset.
An exemption: You can water Twice a day if your plants are dry due to extreme heat.
In The Containers
- During hot days, plants in containers will need to be watered regularly. Water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch or when your plants show signs of wilting not attributed to insect pests or disease. Containers usually had holes beneath for water to leak through the bottom. Make sure your water runs freely through the bottom of the container.
How Often: Once a day, preferably morning.
In Raised Beds
- Raised beds used for gardening are slightly different than planting directly into the ground. Raised beds need less regular watering than hanging baskets or other containers.
How Often: Raised beds need daily watering, but most plants in it can thrive with watering once or twice a week to saturate the soil.
WHEN TO WATER PLANTS: Indoor Garden
- Most house plants prefer moist potting mix when growing in spring and summer. Remember not to water too much. Make sure that the containers you use have holes beneath for the water to seep past through it to avoid waterlogging.
How Often: Water most plants every 2–4 days in spring and summer to keep the soil moist. Decrease your watering schedule in winter when plant growth is slower and temperatures are lower.
- Tropical plants and ferns want water poured above for its foliage to be doused. You can water these plants, once a day.
- For orchids, water it regularly, once a day. Orchids absorbed moisture through its leaves and aerial roots. You can use misting spray or a hose to moisten it.
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In exemption : Drought-loving cacti and succulents like their leaves and stems to remain dry at all times. Water it once in 2-3 weeks. Avoid getting water on the leaves and stems of succulents and cacti.
- Air plants are best soaked up for an hour once a week in a tray of rainwater or distilled water. After soaking, leave to drain and ensure that they dry completely within 4 hours to prevent rotting. Alternatively, mist them 2–3 times a week.
- Add a layer of grit (known as a “mulch”) on top of the soil if you’re repotting succulent or cacti. Mulch helps water to quickly drain away, preventing the succulent from rotting.
WHEN TO WATER PLANTS: Rooftop Garden
- Rooftop Garden is where most plants probably get the best sunlight, however, there must be a shed spot to avoid burning them.
- It’s also advisable to water your plants daily as the moisture from yesterday’s watering had already dried by the heat.
- You must also ensure that the water reaches the roots. Too-low water quantities often only cover the upper soil, thus leaving the roots dry. Adequate watering also indicates that crop plants rely on evenly moist soil throughout the period before their crops are ready for harvest.
- Water as much as it only needs, but little as possible.
COMMON SIGNS OF OVERWATERED PLANTS
It’s a surprisingly common problem to overwater your plants, and a few minor changes will help you improve your landscape. Here are few signs to help you determine this problem :
- The tip of the plant’s leaf is brown, but because of overwatering it feels soft and limp.
- You may also notice patches on your plants leaves.
- Molds growing in your plants’ soil is an indication of overwatered.
- Stunted slow growth accompanied by yellowing leaves is also a symptom of overwatered plants.
- There is also a foul odor coming from your plants. This happened because, if water sits on the roots for too long, it will start to rot them.
HOW TO SAVE AN OVERWATERED PLANTS
When you’re trying to take good care of your plants, it’s easy to overwater them. This generally occurs with potted plants as the water can not drain away from the roots.
Here are 6 steps to follow that will save your plant from drowning:
- Step-1: Look out for the indication of overwatered plants. Check to see if your plant is struggling to produce new leaves or stems or has foliage that is dying. If you found the problem proceed to step 2.
- Step-2: Dry your plants. Stop watering the plant while it dries out. If you think you are overwatering the plant, take a break from watering it. This can take several days, so don’t worry if there’s a big gap between waterings.
- Step-3: While drying the plant, keep it in a shady area. If a plant is overwatered, it has difficulty relaying water to its upper extremities. This means that the top of the plant is vulnerable to drying out if it’s left in the sun.
- Step-4: Tap the side of your container or pot. Do this several times on different sides to loosen the soil and roots. Create an air pocket that will help your roots dry.
- Step-5: If it’s necessary, re-plant it in a pot/container with better drainage. Prune away brown, stinky roots with pruning shears or scissors. Do not water it yet. Let the plant bring back its colors.
- Step-6: Prune away dead leaves. And wait for your plant’s recovery.
Knowing the best time to water your garden and using the right method will keep your plants alive. So follow these tips to ensure a healthy garden in the incoming days!