Summertime brings with it plenty of fun activities. We spend more time outside, basking in the Sun and enjoying the lush greenery. A well-kept, green and sprouting backyard is everyone’s goal, which many think is hard to achieve. In reality, you can have a green haven or a garden without too much work. There are some involved, but tips&tricks play a more vital part in the overall process.
Seemingly insignificant activities from watering to pruning pay their fair share when painting the overall picture. Dedicating your time and effort to perfecting each activity, will yield results you can brag about. Eight per cent of our planet and our bodies is water, and its importance is not lost on the plants. Making the best use of this precious resource produces the greenery you dream of. Without further ado for each drop counts, let’s start making your idea flourish before your eyes.
1. Timing is everything
Step outside when it’s scorching forty degrees without water, and you will realise how important watering is to plants. When the earth is dry and hot, any water you pour will mostly evaporate. Temperature shock from cold water to hot soil is not something you can ignore. Shocking the plant’s roots brings with it more harm than good. And if you are watering during the heat, you will end up using more water and rack up the bill. So, what you should do, is water your plants early in the morning or late at night.
When the temperatures are tolerable, and the ground still has that nightly freshness, the effects of timely watering transfer to the plants, and it gets easier for them to absorb water. Just as we have three meals per day at specific times, so do plants. Their meal time is ideally once per day during the mornings or evening. You can choose which based on your daily schedule but don’t forget to water them. We will brush up on that topic next.
2. Consistency trump’s chance
Drawing comparisons between plants and humans makes you realise how similar we are. Water plays a vital part in both of our lives. Forgetting to water your plants for days and then trying to make it up by pouring excess water at once does nothing. Excessive watering can cause the roots to rot and the plant to wither and die. The word we are searching for is waterlogged, which suffocates the plant’s roots and deprives them of oxygen.
Regular, once-per-day watering brings plants consistency, and they can grow with certainty that there will always be water for them. Making up for lost time and watering by flooding your garden produces a high water bill, drowned plants and nothing more. If you did forget to water your plants for a day or two, then water them with a regular amount and keep at it. No amount of water can make up for a lost time, but it’s better to water plants with some water than none.
3. Tools of the trade
Now, you might be thinking that a regular hose does the job, and you are right. If you wish to stand around, tug it behind and wait, a simple garden hose is more than enough. For when you want maximum results with less effort, you need to stretch out and expand your inventory. Timed sprinklers can be set on your lawn and programmed to start early in the morning or late at night. You can also program them to last an X amount of time, thus saving you money on the water bill. If you have a garden, a drip hose is ideal for keeping your plants fed at all times, and drip hoses also use water rationally to prevent any excess or expense.
Hose reelers, sprinklers, hoses, adjustments and attachments, drop hoses, and plenty more that you did not know existed are out there and waiting to help. All you need to do is some browsing online, like at Hoselink, to find the right type for your garden and needs. Don’t overthink and overspend when it comes to garden equipment. Start small and with one or two items. Learn how to use them properly and find where they fit in your garden. From there, you have a base upon which you can build and expand. The easiest thing in the world is to get more tools, and when the time does come for that, your plants will be grateful.
Now we are at the meat of the matter. Mulching and the ground under and around the plant represent the table for it. Sometimes the ground can be porous, or its quality can deteriorate over time. At any point, you can take a sample for testing and get more information about what you are dealing with. Adding nutrients and fertilisers helps to balance things out. Mulching is a much easier and quicker solution for when you want immediate results.
Mulch is a thin layer atop your ground that does wonders for the soil and plants. Right at the start, mulching reduces the temperature of the earth and helps retain water. In this way, it helps the plants to grow by offering nutrition and protection at the same time. Mulch contains nutrients and minerals for immediate effect and helps you to buy time until you decide to improve the ground beneath. Mulching also provides information to you, in the sense that you can determent if you need to water your plants or not.
Remember how we talked that excessive watering can cause damage to the plant? Well now, when you have mulch, you can touch it and instantly know if you need to water it or not. Stick two fingers in and, if they are dry, that’s a clear indicator that the mulch and plants are due for a watery refreshment.
5. Check the plant’s needs
Some people can drink one pint and be done for the night, others need a keg. Your plants are not the exception, and besides mulch and soil information you have more allies to help you determent when to water. Here come watering indicator plants. When you plant them, you can glance at your garden for plants that react the quickest to drying out, and water as often as is necessary to prevent signs of dehydration.
The unique symbiotic relationship they offer is the most natural way of knowing if something is wrong with your garden. While we want you to water your plants most efficiently, these types of plants can offer all sorts of useful info. From quality of the earth to driving away pests with their fragrance, mixing up plants and utilising their unique abilities leads to a better functioning garden overall.
6. Proper Watering
Wiping out your hose and spraying water all over the plant is wasteful, damaging and unproductive. Believe it or not, there is a method to everything, and watering is no exception. Water at the base of the plant, gently so that you don’t break it. You can use specialised tools like a watering wand, long-neck watering can, soaker hose, or drip system for best results. Leaves and fruits are there to retain water, so when you water them, you prevent water from reaching the base.
On the contrary, while you water them you help create diseases that thrive on moisture, like powdery mildew. This simple and quick act of going for the base produces the best results and requires a slight chance of habit. Next up on the list are location, location and location. Plants that chill in the shade need less water than those that are sunbathing. Plants that are in a windy spot need more care than those that are hidden. Wind will dry out your plants quickly. Moisture is lost through the plant’s leaves. The larger the leaves, the quicker and more moisture is lost. In this department, you can protect your plants with barriers, shade cloth, or just re-locate them.
7. Pots VS Soil
We mentioned that location plays a vital part in plant watering, and with different types of containers you will soon realise why. Potted plants and those in the ground require a vastly different approach. Any container dries out much faster than the ground. Knowing that you need to factor in that they will need more frequent watering. Combo this fact with their placement in full sun, or exposed to wind, and you realise how small parts play a large role.
On the other side, grounded plants need another type of assistance. Let’s say that your oversoaked them. It happens, and you are only human. When water puddles on top of the soil, drop a small amount of soil on top, to soften the surface. Check again in a few minutes and add more if you still see puddles, just to make sure it soaks in thoroughly. In such a way you are creating wet layers that will continuously feed the plan for a longer period, prevent root degradation, and for diseases to form.
When we talk about diseases, plants can’t talk but can show you if something is wrong with them. The one hundred per cent sure way of knowing if you are doing something wrong is to simply observe them. Brown leaf edges accompanied by yellow leaves can signal over-watering. Your plant is trying to let you know that you are doing too good of a job, and you should listen.
Coming back home from a gruelling day and relaxing in the shade makes all the difference in the world. Your green haven can be a safe retreat from all troubles, and you can recharge, regroup and refresh yourself for new challenges that await. A well-groomed and maintained garden is a sure sign of a healthy mindset that governs it. With proper motivation, your garden can reflect your inner peace and creativity. Taking control of your surroundings produces immediate effects. Gardening can be the creative outlet you needed and didn’t know until you start with that first drop of water. Drop by drop, day by day, and you will see the results flourish before your very eyes as you admire your handy work. We wish you all the best.