Wisely Watering Your Garden

1" of water per week, including rainfall, is adequate for for most veggie plants. A productive way to irrigate is using drip lines and soaker hoses. They'll deliver water slowly, straight to the roots, allowing them time to absorb the moisture and soil. Keeping hydrated helps keep foliage dry. Timers that are automatic take the effort and worry out of watering.

The deeper the color of the fruit and vegetable, the richer the antioxidants. Many plants need watering more often if they are grown under cover or if you grow them in a container where there is less soil to absorb moisture. Take notice of the position of the plants you're growing. In full sunlight, water from the soil's surface will evaporate more quickly than in the shade.

A variety of vegetables need extra water when in flower or when fruiting. Sweet potatoes, legumes, beans, peas, and corn require more water when in flower. Squash plants, tomatoes, and pumpkins benefit from extra water when their fruit is developing. Peas and beans will develop heavier pods if watered regularly after flowering but too much water early on will result in extra leafy growth and fewer flowers and fruit.

Watering Tips

The best time to water your vegetables is in the morning. This ensures the water is fully absorbed by the soil and roots. Watering in the heat of the midday sun means that the water is likely to evaporate rather than be absorbed by the plant’s roots. Watering at night can attract slugs and lead to the onset of diseases such as mildew and black spot.

Make sure you water your plants thoroughly. If you only sprinkle water on the soil’s surface, the plants will develop shallow root systems (which will need watering more often). A thorough soak will penetrate the soil’s surface and ensure your plant is well nourished.

When planning your plot you should consider grouping the thirstiest vegetables in the same area to make watering them easier. A well-planned plot should have water butts stationed in convenient locations so you don’t have to travel far to access water. Some larger gardens and allotments can benefit from an irrigation system (such as a seep hose) – particularly useful if you plan to be away on holiday during crucial summer months.