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How often should I water my garden?

If you are wondering how often should I water my garden? then here is a great guide to watering your garden from Phostrogen.


How often should I water my garden?


How often should I water my garden?

All gardeners know that watering is key to ensuring a flourishing garden. Every plant is comprised of 80% water, and its only means of drawing up water and nutrients from the soil is through its roots, so proper watering is essential!  

An error often made by gardeners is watering too frequently, as this means the plant isn’t encouraged to develop its own root system and search for water at a deep level, becoming dependent on the surface water provided instead. But the frequency of watering that’s needed depends on several different factors, such as soil type, weather, season and the type of plants you’re tending to.

Here are some top tips on how to ensure you’re watering your plants properly… and here you can find a great list of drought tolerant plants.


Identify your soil type

The type of soil in your garden is an important factor in how often you should water your plants. Depending on the texture of your soil and whether it is compacted or not, it will have a greater or lesser ability to hold water, which seeps down to the roots.

There are four main types of soil to consider, so begin by identifying which type of soil you have. If your soil is sandy, water it often and a little at a time, as it can’t hold a lot of water. Generally speaking, if it is more clay-like, you can freely water with large quantities of water, but less often.

The ideal soil for watering is silty-clay soil, with a lumpy texture similar to coffee grounds. If your garden doesn’t naturally have this type of soil, you can encourage this texture by regularly adding in some compost and turning it over at the surface with a garden fork from time to time. It is said that turning over is the equivalent to two watering sessions, but it’s a lot simpler and requires much less effort! Of course, different plants prefer different types of soil and different levels of watering, so it’s all about finding the right plant for the right place in your garden!


How often should I water my garden?


Watch the weather to determine how often you should water your garden

Of course, the weather plays a big factor in how much your plants need watering, but it can be tricky to keep an eye on exactly how much rain has fallen! To track it accurately and prevent overwatering, install a rain gauge in a clear area of your garden. This simple tool is cheap but very useful!

Generally speaking, 1mm of rain represents one litre of water per metre square, so you can measure how much water your plants have already received each day. You may often be surprised when taking water readings from your gauge – heavy rainfall lasting a few minutes often brings less saturation than a fine drizzle that lasts for several hours.

Of course, water more regularly during summer months and hot spells. In spring and autumn, water early in the morning, but in the summer, it can be best to wait until the evening as watering during full sun can burn the plants!


Watering 101 – How often should I water my garden?

When it comes to watering, always favour rain water over tap. If possible, install a water butt in your garden to collect the rain – plants much prefer rain water as it isn’t as cold or chlorinated, and it is also much better for the environment!

Watering the roots and base is best practice, either with a good old watering can, drop system at the base of plants, or a sunken irrigation system for larger areas. Avoid sprinkling or spraying as this uses more water and can encourage the onset of diseases.

Think about where your plants are positioned. South facing plants are likely to need more water as the direct sun will dry out soil quickly, and remember that some plants and vegetables prefer more water than others. For example, tomatoes and roses are thirsty and require lots of watering, whereas plants such as lavender and poppies and vegetables like asparagus do not – every plant is different!



Don’t forget to fertilise

Of course, water is not the only essential element for plants, so it’s important to invest in professional fertiliser. While the soil contains nutrients to help plants grow, over time even the richest soil becomes exhausted as the plants absorb the goodness that they need. These need to be replaced over time.

Fertilisers comprise of several key elements to help your plants thrive, including Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium Iron and Magnesium, which promotes healthy green foliage and an abundant of flowers and fruit, as well as helps plants become more drought resistant and develop a healthy root system.

There are a variety of fertilisers and forms to choose from, like Phostrogen® All Purpose Plant Food granules, which are applied directly around the base of the plant and simply hoed in before watering. This form has the benefit of a slower release of up to 100 days and is very easy to use. Liquid fertilisers, such as Phostrogen® Liquid Plant Food, can be diluted into a watering can and generously applied around the roots and as far out as the foliage reaches, getting to work fast.  For organic gardeners, there are also a variety of feeds certified by the Organic Farmers & Growers, including the new Phostrogen® Organic All Purpose Plant Food, which is enriched with seaweed for a naturally fertile soil.



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