Watering Tips for the Garden and Lawn

How hard can watering your garden really be? Turning on a hose and spraying water is not very difficult, of course, but you’re not guaranteed to get the results you want by spraying and praying. Watering correctly, on the other hand, means healthier turf, happier plants and a lower water bill. In addition, using these watering tips will reduce your time spent on lawn and garden maintenance. You will have more vigorous plant growth, which means fewer pest and disease problems.

The Best Time of Day to Water

There are many similarities in watering lawns and gardens. The best time of day to water is the same for both. Whenever possible, water early in the morning, well before the heat of the day. Much less water will be lost to evaporation; much more of it will get into the soil. While the same thing happens if you water late in the day or early evening, there is a somewhat greater chance of encouraging fungus or mildew related diseases when plants stay moist overnight on a regular basis. Evening is a better time to water than mid afternoon, but morning is best.

How Often and How Much to Water

Watering Tips for the Garden and LawnThere’s no formula to determine how often you should water, but there are some general guidelines we like to follow. It’s better to water less often for longer periods of time than to water frequently for short periods of time. Longer watering times allows water to move deeper into the soil. Since roots grow where there is water, this will encourage deeper root growth. Plants will then be able to survive better in times of drought.

With shorter watering times, water often stays in the top inch or so of soil. Roots remain very shallow; this means even more frequent watering is needed for plants to survive. Both your lawn and garden will have a more difficult time during hot, dry weather. A minute or two of watering does virtually nothing for your lawn.

Most lawns need an inch or more of water per week during active growing seasons. The same applies for vegetables and most ornamental gardens. The type of soil you have and turf or plant species may mean that more or less water is needed. Buy a rain gauge for your yard to help keep track of how much rainfall you are getting. During dry weeks in the middle of summer, try watering twice per week. In the spring or fall, one good watering may be enough. If you are getting regular rain, additional watering may not be needed, but check the rain gauge to be sure.

Irrigation Options

Watering Tips for the Garden and LawnAn automated irrigation system can take much of the guesswork out of watering your lawn and garden. Set correctly, it will deliver the right amount of water (as determined by the professional installer) needed at set times and days. Though there is an initial investment, irrigation systems save you a lot of time and use less water than you would watering by hand.

A less costly approach is to get a soaker hose for your ornamental garden. They don’t work very well for lawns, but they water gardens efficiently as long as they are laid out correctly and monitored closely.

An even easier approach is to let The Gardener’s expertise work for you. That way, experienced staff do the hard work and let you know if your landscape is not getting enough, or is getting too much, water. Contact your local Gardener to plan your service schedule today.

Watering Tin courtesy of Marilyn Roxie
Sprinkler courtesy of Thangaraj Kumaravel
Let us Spray courtesy of Ian Sane

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