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The proper way to water your garden

water your garden

Topic: The proper way to water your garden

So, you think watering is a no-brainer, huh? Actually, some best practices for watering plants will save your plants and conserve water, too. Water for too long, and you create an open invitation for fungus. Water too little, and roots become shallow. Water in the evening, and insects come out to feast. Water from too high, and half the moisture is lost to evaporation. Poor watering habits are a real crime — literally, in some parts of the country where drought conditions have led to government-imposed restrictions. And so they should be, since water is a precious resource whether or not you garden. Consider collecting water for your garden with rain barrels that have garden hose connections. You can build your own rain barrel or shop top-rated rain barrels. With a little knowledge, we can all become better consumers, better gardeners and better stewards of our environment. Watering Plants and Lawns Efficiently. 1. When is the Best Time to Water Plants? DO water early in the morning when sunlight is weakest, the ground is coolest and foliage will have hours to dry before nightfall. Aim for between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. DON’T water in the evening when soil is warm and wet foliage can attract insects, fungus and disease. 2. How Often Should You Water Plants? DO water deeply and at fewer intervals so that you reach roots, the part of the plant that needs the nutrients, sugars and hormones contained in water. Soaking the soil to a depth of 5 to 6 inches encourages plants to grow deeper roots, which in the long run will make for a healthier garden. DON’T water lightly and often, which promotes shallow root growth. (One of the worst watering crimes you can commit is to dash outside after work every evening and sprinkle the lawn for 10 minutes.) 3. What’s the Most Efficient Way to Water Plants? DO direct water at the base of a plant and avoid wetting foliage, which invites fungus. Also, you’ll lose less water to evaporation and, since you’re applying water directly to the root zone, the water will be readily available to the plant roots. DON’T water from overhead. Depending on the size of the plant, the water may never actually hit the ground because the foliage may overshadow the plant’s base.

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Topic Discussed: The proper way to water your garden

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