Beat the heat and don’t let your plants hang their heads this summer.

If you don’t give your plants plenty of water this summer you might end up with a limp and lifeless garden.

But how much or how often should plants be watered and is it better to water from above or below?

With help from gardening manufacturer GARDENA, we have ten golden rules to answer all your watering questions:

1: Keep the soil moist

Most plants depend on even moisture at all times.

2: Water less frequently, but thoroughly

For flower beds, one to two watering sessions per week is usually sufficient. It is better to water occasionally but with plenty of water rather than a little water often.

3: Water late in the evening or early in the morning

When you water cool soil in the evening or early morning, less water evaporates than when watering hot soil during the day and plants can sufficiently absorb the water.

4: Keep leaves dry

Wet leaves can become diseased leaves and may mould. Leaves that are wet in the day can develop slight burn marks from the sun.

5: Give the right water quantity

Requirement-suited watering means that the water must sufficiently reach the roots. Too little water will only cover the upper soil centimetres or may not even reach them at all (e.g. when there is mulch covering the soil).

6: Give larger water quantities in parts

Water needs a moment to seep into the soil. To prevent precious water in the bed flowing away unused, it’s better to water repeatedly in sections rather than in one big hit.

7: Water with a set target but distribute evenly

Always watering at one root point will lead to one sided root growth, resulting in poor nutrient absorption from the soil. Therefore, always water around the plant, covering the entire irrigation area.

8: Irrigate in a way that saves water

Water as much as necessary with as little as possible.

9: Avoid waterlogging

Waterlogging suppresses the oxygen to the roots and may result in the root cells drowning. Aerating the soil can help to prevent waterlogging. The easiest way to aerate the soil is with a garden fork. Simply push the fork tines into the soil, rocking it back and forth to create sufficient aeration holes. Repeat the process at evenly spaced intervals around the garden bed or lawn.

10: Use quality, clay-rich soil

Plant soil rich in clay minerals has better expanding properties and will hold water in the soil more evenly.

 

Once you’ve got the watering down, why not try edible gardens or vertical gardens?