As warmer days approach we should have a plan for watering our fabulous flower and vegetable gardens. Hopefully, gentle soaking rains continue, as this is the best way to water the garden. In the event this does not happen in your area, outline a plan for correct water usage in your gardens.
Most of us have heard that deep, infrequent watering is most beneficial. A general rule is to water one to three inches per week. However, when temperatures are higher, more water may be needed. Our plant varieties will also determine how much water is needed.
Some newly planted specimens will need regular watering to become established. Some plants then become tolerant of dryer conditions. It is also important to remember that most plants do not like to sit in soggy soil, even during the establishment process.
Know how much water is optimum for your plants and do your best to provide it for them. The result will be a happy garden and a happy gardener.
Several plant varieties, such as roses, hollyhocks and chrysanthemums do not like to be watered from overhead and can actually be damaged or diseased if water regularly touches the foliage. This type of plant can benefit from a soaker hose or soaker system where only the roots get wet.
If overhead watering is unavoidable, it should be done in the early morning, giving foliage a chance to dry off before bedtime. Never water in the hottest part of the day when the sun is shining.
Layout of the Garden
Plant garden specimens in groups according to water needs. Create a xeric (drought tolerant) garden area that needs only natural rainfall. Ideally this would be in a location furthest away from the water source.
Plant those with medium water needs in masses, providing their light requirements are compatible. These may need only occasional supplemental watering.
Plants with frequent and special water needs can be designed into a special garden area closest to the irrigation source. Conserving water need not be more complicated than knowledge of the plant material and some planning before planting.