Does every plant you buy die? Can you just not keep your precious garden alive no matter what you try? No worries! You probably still have a green thumb. You might be just watering your plants the wrong way.
Luckily, you have stumbled upon the right place. These are the 5 watering mistakes you are probably making.
1 – Watering at the wrong time of day
Obviously, the best time to water your plants is when they need water. If your plants are dying from dehydration, you should water them immediately, no matter what time of day it is. In this case, watering your struggling plants is more important than getting the timing right.
But in normal circumstances, what is the best time of day to water your plants? If your plants are doing well, you should establish a good watering schedule. The best times to water plants are:
- Early morning at sunrise
- Late afternoon or early evening
- Late evening
You should avoid watering your plants in the heat of the day because the water will evaporate before the plants get a chance to fully absorb it.
By watering your garden in the early morning, you will give water a chance to permeate the soil and get to the deep root system of the plants. Your plants will have enough time to soak up a whole lot of moisture to get ready for the upcoming heat.
2 – Watering the top of the plants
You should avoid watering the actual leaves or foliage of your plants because water droplets that stay on the leaves can scorch them if left in the blazing sun.
Besides, just spraying water on top of your plants is not enough. You have to soak your plants directly at the root system.
Roots are to a plant like a mouth is to a human and just spraying water on leaves doesn’t do much for them, just like splashing water on your skin doesn’t quench your thirst.
Not to mention, if you only water plants from above, you can agitate and disturb the soil causing soil to get on the stalks and leaves of your plants. Dirt can carry harmful fungus and bacteria that can quickly infect your crop and leave you empty-handed.
3 – Underwatering
One probable reason your plants are not doing so well is that you are not watering them enough.
Watering plants is tricky because it’s easy to quickly feel that you have given them enough water. But if you check the soil, you may see that it is still dry below the surface.
The root systems of mature plants penetrate deep into the soil, so the best way to check if you have watered your plants enough is to stick your finger into the dirt. If the soil is dry an inch below the surface, keep watering. Water until you still feel moisture at least three inches down.
An easy way to tend to your garden is to use a good no-kink garden hose. A garden hose that doesn’t coil and tangle will provide a continuous stream of water for your plants and make watering way more convenient.
4 – Overwatering
Too much water can be just as detrimental to plants as too little. Here are some of the common scenarios that lead to overwatering:
- Pots without drainage holes.
- Watering the garden the day before it rains.
- Losing track of your watering schedule.
- Letting your neighbors water your plants while on vacation.
The best way to avoid overwatering is to do the same good old finger test on the soil. Stick your index finger a couple of inches deep into the dirt. If the subsoil feels moist, skip watering, otherwise, you can go ahead and drench it.
It is better to fully soak soil once a week and let it dry out before the next watering than to water it little by little every day. Watering once a week promotes the growth of the roots and keeps them healthy, whereas roots that are exposed to too much moisture will eventually begin to rot.
Establish a reliable watering schedule by getting to know your plants, the soil, and of course, your local weather.
5 – Not using mulch
Mulching is more than just a way to make your flower bed look pretty. Mulch acts as a protective above-ground layer that keeps moisture locked in the soil. It prevents water from evaporating too quickly when the temperatures rise during the day.
Most importantly, you won’t have to water your plants as often, and you will stay within your local water restrictions.
And you don’t have to buy mulch from the store to reap these benefits. You can use compost, straw, fall leaves, pine needles, or shredded paper as mulch.
Learn from your mistakes
Don’t worry if you don’t get the art of watering plants right the first time. Learn from your mistakes and try again. Gardening is all about getting to know your plants and yourself.
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share these watering tips with your fellow horticultural enthusiasts.
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