It seems so easy to water your garden. You turn on the hose, spray water around, and you’re done. Right?
Not exactly. Evaporation and water runoff in hot, dry weather means your plants aren’t getting enough water.
To keep plants healthy, water them deeply, so the water gets to their roots. Your flowers appreciate each refreshing drink, and when properly watered, you save money.
Types of Watering Systems:
- Watering by hand is very common, and since it’s manual, also very time-consuming.
- Soaker hoses minimize run-off and evaporation since they slowly release and deliver the right amount of water to flower roots while keeping foliage dry. Turn them on manually or with a timer.
- Sprinklers with timers automatically deliver the right amount of water and are mobile.
- Drip irrigation systems apply water and nutrients directly to the roots of plants at a controlled, automated rate, which conserves water and saves you money.
- For those who prefer their watering systems hidden, underground drip irrigation systems are perfect.
Water by Hand-Held Hose:
- Water early in the morning.
- Focus on the roots of the plant. Wetting the foliage is a waste of water and can lead to disease. If you do get water on the leaves, they will have time to dry out during the heat of the day.
- Give your garden about an inch of water a week. Place a rain gauge in an open spot to track rainfall.
- To check if your plants are getting enough water, use a trowel to dig into the soil while being careful not to injure the roots. The soil should be moist 4 to 6 inches down.
Water with a Soaker Hose:
- Place the soaker hose directly on top of the soil within 1 to 2 inches of your plants.
- Prevent kinking by pinning your soaker hoses with U-shaped metal landscape pins.
- Cover the soaker hose with mulch to hide it and retain water.
- Water for 30 minutes and check. Water should seep down 8 to 12 inches into the soil, but not puddle.
- Add an electric timer to regulate water scheduling for convenience – and to make sure you don’t forget to turn it on and off. A rain or moisture sensor will prevent it from coming on when you don’t need to water.
Water with Timed Sprinklers:
- Water early in the morning, so foliage has time to dry out during the day.
- To know how long to set the timer, mark 1 inch on an empty can and put it in your garden. Note the time, and turn the sprinkler on. When the water fills up to the 1-inch mark, turn the sprinkler off and check the time again. Now set your timer.
- Add a moisture or rain sensor, so sprinklers aren’t on when it’s raining.
Water with a Drip Irrigation System:
- Installing your drip irrigation system with a DIY kit is the best option.
- Check with your Garden Center associate for the drip irrigation system that meets your specific needs and follow the directions on the package.