Watering your garden in spring is not as straightforward as it seems, especially if you live in an area with unpredictable rainfall during this time of year. To understand how much water your garden needs, there are a few things you should be aware of.
Here’s what you need to know:
How to water your garden in spring
If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably know what the weather will be like in spring. If you live in an area with high rainfall, it may not be necessary to water your garden at all. On the other hand, if there’s next to no rain in spring, you’ll need to make sure your garden is properly watered.
So now you might be wondering how to water your garden appropriately. You might also be wondering how to measure the amount of water given. Let’s take a look.
The rules of watering
Some experts suggest deep infrequent watering as opposed to shallow frequent watering. Generally, the rule of thumb states that you should water your garden with at least 1-2.5 inches of water every week. Usually, this relates to around 1 to 2.5 hours of watering in one spot.
How long you water your garden for will largely depend on the type of soil you have. Gardens with clay soil will need less water than gardens with sandy soil. You’ll need to keep this in mind before you work out a watering regime.
Gardens with sandy soil will need more frequent watering than those with clay soil, as sand won’t hold on to moisture for as long as clay. On the other hand, gardens with clay soil are much more prone to overwatering than those with well-draining sandy soil. You might need to amend the soil in your garden if you want healthier plant growth.
Mixing compost into sandy soil will help with water retention which in turn will give your plants a chance to absorb some moisture before it all drains away. Compost can also help to loosen up clay soil which helps to improve drainage, but a better amendment would be to work some sand into the soil instead.
If you have a lot of succulents in your garden, you don’t need to water very often. On the other hand, if you have plants that can’t handle drying out, you’ll need to make sure you keep them slightly moist.
Once you know what soil is in your garden, what the weather will be like and how much water specific plants in your garden need, you can work out how frequently you will need to water.
Watering your garden
There are many ways to water your garden. If you don’t want to worry about missing a watering or don’t fancy wielding a hose for hours on end, take a look at the options below:
Sprinklers that run on a timer are an excellent way to water your garden. You’ll need to install a system of pipes throughout your garden and a timer on the tap so you can choose when the sprinklers should go on and off. Make sure to set the timer just right so you don’t overwater your garden.
Old school manual sprinklers
These are usually sprinkler heads that are attached to a hose pipe. You will need to manually turn on the sprinkler and move it to the desired area in your garden. Make sure to not leave it in the same place for too long. 15-20 minutes in one spot is ideal.
Manual permanent sprinklers
These are a cross between the automatic sprinkler system and the old school manual system. Like the automatic system, these sprinklers are permanently installed with pipes running throughout your garden. Unlike the automatic system, you’ll need to turn these sprinklers on by hand. This system does have the potential to be upgraded into an automatic system in the future. All you need to do is install the timer.
Watering by hand
Watering your garden with a watering can is also an option. This can be very labour intensive and isn’t practical for everyone. If you have a very large garden, it’s also better to stick to sprinklers. Watering cans are perfect for container gardening, however.
How often should I water seedlings?
Seedlings should be watered every day. The soil the seedlings are in should never be allowed to dry out completely. At this tender age, seedlings need all the moisture they can get while they establish themselves and grow into tougher plants. If neglected, your seedlings will quickly wilt and may even die.
How often should I water my vegetable garden?
Two to three times each week. Deeper, less frequent watering gives the water time to seep deep into the soil whereas shallow daily watering generally only keeps the surface moist before it evaporates. Infrequent watering allows the plants to absorb all the moisture they need and will stay with them for longer than shallow watering.
What should I do about watering when I go away for a holiday?
You don’t need to worry about your garden drying out if you’re only going away for a long weekend. Everything will be fine once you return. If you’re going away for a few weeks, however, you might want to ask a neighbour to spend a few minutes watering your garden every 3 days or so, or you could set up an automatic watering system.