This hot weather has inspired me to pull together my top tips for watering plants in the vegetable garden. 🌞
Water is without doubt one of the most undervalued resources on earth.
These tips have been designed with water conservation in mind.
These watering tips for plants will help you to:
reduce the amount of water that your plants need.
identify the plants that need water the most.
get water to the right plants.
get water to the right places.
use sources of otherwise wasted water.
1. Water seedlings regularly
Watering tips for seedlings
New seedlings don’t respond well to over watering or to being left to dry out.
Avoid using water from your water butt on new seedlings as they are more susceptible to bacteria and fungal spores that may have developed in the water.
Instead use tap water that has ideally been sat around for 24 hours.
When sowing seeds make a shallow trench for your seeds and give it a good water before sowing. Cover the trench with compost and water gently again before placing a plank of wood on top until they germinate.
How often do seedlings need watering?
To recognize if seedlings need water you can:
Get used to picking up your pots or trays. If they feel very light then they need water.
Press your finger gently into the soil, if it feels dry and your finger comes out dirt free then they need a water.
We water seedlings in pots daily. In the evening too if it is particularly sunny and windy as they dry out quickly.
2. Water plantsthorougly each week
Plants that have been transplanted and have established themselves in the garden are treated to a once a week soaking which involves a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as we empty the contents of our water-butts over the beds (if it has been dry).
Tips for saving water when there’s no rain!
Fill your water butt with bath water/paddling pool water.
Save water from boiling veg or eggs.
Place a bowl in the sink to catch otherwise wasted clean water while filling glasses or rinsing fruit and veg.
Put a bucket in the shower to catch run-off.
We don’t have one but apparently outdoor-mounted aircon units can fill a bucket of water regularly.
3. Retain soil moisture
Tips for retaining soil moisture…
Mulch around plants after watering to hold in moisture (it is also amazing at preventing weeds!) Some people have trouble with slugs but we use grass clippings, wood chip and leaves without major problems.
Group pots together so that they shade each other and avoid terracotta (evaporation) or metal tubs (heat soil).
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