Water Can Be Bad: How to Properly Water Your Garden This SummerJuly 23, 2019
A Summer Watering Guide for Your Garden
Summer is here and that means it’s time to start thinking about watering your lawn and garden. Some areas are typically dryer than others, but how do you know if your lawn or garden needs attention before it goes brown?
Do you know the right time of day to water so you don’t ruin your plants? Maybe you didn’t even know you could ruin them by watering at the wrong time.
There are many myths surrounding when and how to water your plants. It’s important to understand what is true and what is not so you don’t kill your plants with too much, or lack of, water.
One myth is that plants require an inch of water per week in order to survive. While plants do require water, not all plants can go by this idea. A great way to avoid following this myth is to watch the soil. Water the plant to provide enough water to its entire root system and then wait until the soil seems to be drying out before watering again. This keeps the plant healthy and doesn’t cause any issues from overwatering.
Another myth focuses on wilting. Many say if a plant is wilting it requires water. This is only partially true. While wilting is certainly a sign of a plant’s roots drying out, it could also be caused from other factors besides water. The most important thing to do is check the soil. If the soil still has moisture, then the plant could be wilting from root disease, physical damage, or even insects in the soil. It’s important to know what to look for before assuming your plant needs to be watered.
Other myths revolve around types of watering. Some say that overhead watering on a sunny day can scorch the leaves and overhead watering with a sprinkler is bad for plants. The main, and only, reason to be cautious of watering on a sunny day is due to evaporation of the water in the heat. Because of the evaporation, plants receive less of the water you’re trying to provide. As for overhead watering with a sprinkler, it’s true that this isn’t the most efficient form of watering. It’s important to note that watering from an overhead sprinkler can be useful on dry, windy days when the dust might collect on the leaves.
Dos and Don’ts
There are several ways you can ensure the safety of your plants this summer. Some are listed above in correction to the myths. Others are fairly simple: watch your plants for “indicators” and avoid getting the leaves wet if you can.
What does all this mean? It’s very simple. An indicator plant is the first plant that will wilt or otherwise show signs of distress in the garden. Once you’ve located this plant, find the cause of its distress, whether it needs watering or some other attention, and ensure the other plants are safe from the cause. If it needs to be watered, chances are the other plants do as well. If the indicator plant is affected by a bug or root disease, chances are the other plants are fine and perhaps this plant should be removed. Know the differences in what and how these factors affect plants before assuming the plant needs watering.
Why is it important to avoid wetting the leaves of the plants? Wet leaves can breed diseases and can provide less water to the roots. By keeping the leaves wet, water is unable to get to the root of the plant and spread throughout the entire plant to keep it alive. It is also a factor that any plant-related diseases are prone to attaching to the leaves of the plant and thrive in water.
It’s important to ensure your plants are well taken care of. Avoid any of the myths above and always do your research. If you have a new plant or are unsure if something is a myth, look it up and research proper information before caring for your plants incorrectly.
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