Best Time to Water Plants
Is it your passion to grow a vegetable garden or decorate your yard with gorgeous flowers?
Getting started with plants can be time-consuming but rewarding. The key is to ensure they are well maintained.
A main element of caring for plants is watering them and knowing when to do it. Plants need water, just like we do.
I want to offer you some advice on when to water your plants. Whether you’re a vegetable gardener or a flower gardener, you should find it valuable to learn when to give your plants the water they need for survival. Here’s what you need to know:
When to Water Outdoor Plants
Frequently, we ask ourselves when the best time is to water the garden. Is it in the early morning when we are drinking coffee, or in the late afternoon when we are working in the garden? Is it better to wait until the afternoon and fill our plants with water all night long? Here are some watering tips that won’t stress you out:
Watering in the Morning
I would have to say that there is an absolute best time to water your garden, and that would be in the morning. I am not suggesting this is the only time, however, because schedules sometimes don’t permit for the best time to do it.
However, if you can water your garden in the morning, you’ll probably want to do so. This is because the morning is cool, which is good for your plants and will prevent them from evaporating water on a hot day.
Generally speaking, the earlier you water in the morning, the better off your plants will be because the temperature is typically cooler in the early morning, and it gives them more time to absorb the water before the heat hits them.
Don’t Believe the Hype
It’s convenient for me to water my plants in the morning because I’m the first one up at my house. I can complete this chore while my family is still sleeping and when my coffee is brewing.
While this may seem like a simple process, I neglected it for many years, concerned that if I watered in the morning and did not time my watering correctly, I would burn up my plants. The sun would obliterate them. I put off watering my garden until after dark in order to prevent its loss.
It’s true that you need direct enough sun for your plants to scorch, but you need to live somewhere where the sun is hot enough in the first place.
The sun will not burn your plants even if you stay in such conditions because the water will evaporate before it is used as fuel for the sun. In essence, most gardeners do not need to concern themselves with scorching their plants.
Even though it’s been suggested that you water your plants in the morning, there is an important catch. You must water them early enough in the morning for them to be able to absorb the water.
During the middle of the day, when the sun fully rises and bears down, the water evaporates before the roots have the opportunity to absorb it.
You’ll see that your plants wilt if they don’t get any water. If you’re planning to water the garden in the morning, it’s a good idea to wake up early and water it before the sun rises.
Watering in the Evening
Sun is Essential
You may not be able to water your plants in the morning if you have to be at work early or have your children in school early. If you aren’t a morning person, you may prefer to water your plants in the evening.
Water your plants correctly so they do not suffer. It is important to water your plants after the majority of the day’s heat has left your area.
Watering when the sun is still blazing hot in your garden will cause the water to evaporate before your plants can drink it.
In order for your plants to dry properly, you need to water them in time for them to get wet. When you water your plants, some of the leaves may remain wet at night.
This provides an ideal opportunity for fungi to form on your plants. The key to watering at night is to water late enough that the water won’t evaporate, but early enough that your plants have time to dry out to prevent disease.
Water with Care
It is very important to give your plants enough time to dry when you water them to the point where the foliage gets wet, or you will set your garden up for failure.
However, you can change up how you water your garden to avoid this problem all together. An irrigation system or soaker hose can prevent the foliage from getting wet.
There is now an extended window of opportunity to water your garden at night without endangering it.
Still, I will say, that if you have an extensive garden, you realize that installing an irrigation system or soaker hose isn’t as cost effective as laying a few sprinklers.
Do what you can within your budget, but keep in mind how to water thoroughly and when the appropriate time is.
Tips for Better Watering
Infrequent is Best
It doesn’t matter when you water your garden, remember watering infrequently is healthier.
You need to water your garden deeply when you water it a couple of times a week. Make sure each area gets an inch or two of water per watering session.
Watering deeper ensures the plants receive what they need. This is better than doing shallow watering.
Only a Few Inches
I mentioned above that plants only require a half-inch or a quarter of water per week unless they’re experiencing a very warm climate or drought.
In the garden you should install a rain gauge so you can monitor how much water has fallen during a particular week.
When it rains every day, you may not need to water. A rain gauge can help you determine this situation.
Mulch is Your Plant’s Friend
Make sure you mulch around your plants so that they retain moisture and stay cool. It not only deters weeds, but also keeps the soil cool around them.
You can find many types of mulch in your backyard. By applying mulch to your plants, you’re helping them tremendously.
When to Water Indoor Plants
While I was younger, I couldn’t keep any plant alive, especially a houseplant. After realizing what I’d been doing wrong, I made a point of teaching myself the correct way to do it. If you are having trouble keeping your houseplants healthy, use these tips:
Water the Soil
Using the smallest amount of water possible at the base of your houseplant is one of the easiest ways to water it – be careful not to wet any of the foliage while doing this.
When water is applied directly to the plant’s roots, you can be sure that adequate amounts are applied.
Water from Beneath
Despite some people saying this method of watering is risky, because you can overwater, it’s my favorite method because the plant absorbs water while you water.
The planter has to have drainage holes in the bottom, so you will need to sit it in a saucer of water to water it from beneath. I’ll use a cake pan instead of a planter that comes with a saucer if you didn’t purchase one with a saucer.
You can use either method to fill the cake pan with water, but make sure you don’t overwater your plants. If you let them sit in too much water for too long, their roots may rot. So water them shallowly with this method, and you should be fine.
Consider the Type of Water
Unlike garden plants, houseplants care about what type of water they receive. If you live in a city, the chances are you receive water from your municipality.
When you receive water from your city, it probably contains chlorine. Certain plants won’t respond well to chlorinated water. Peace Lilies are one example of a plant that does not respond well to chemicals in water.
It is best to use distilled water for houseplants. If you cannot use distilled water, you can let tap water sit out on the counter overnight. It will allow the chlorine to be able to evaporate. If you use your own water, however (like me), you can use water from your faucet.
Pick the Right Containers
Plant any houseplant in a planter with drainage holes if you can. I mentioned earlier to use a planter with drainage holes.
Plants need to be able to take in only what they need, while allowing the rest of the water to drain out. If the water cannot drain, the plant becomes waterlogged, and it will die. Don’t risk it.
Check Your Soil
Furthermore, these tips will allow me to grow gorgeous indoor plants because I used to use them when I was a child.
When I walked by my plants, I would stick my finger in the soil. Instead of worrying I wasn’t giving my plants enough water, I started checking the soil.
The soil decided whether or not it was moist or dry depending upon how much moisture it had. When the soil became dry, I knew it was time to add water.
The most common reason for houseplants to die is excessive watering. If you look at the soil, you shouldn’t have this problem.
You now know when to water your plants indoors and outdoors. Hopefully, not only have you learned a valuable tip, but it will also make you more confident when caring for your plants this growing season!