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Help! My Garden is Drowning!

Confused about how much and how often to water your garden? You’re not alone! In this blog I’m going to give you a few basic tips and tricks that you can use to ensure your garden is getting the correct amount of water to reach its full potential.

My cottage garden, vegetable garden, and strawberry patch.

  • Tip 1: Water your garden deeply, less frequently. Drench your soil thoroughly when you water. Deep watering trains plant roots to grow deep into the soil in search of water. Shallow, frequent waterings train the roots to stay near the soil surface where they dry out quickly.

  • Tip 2: Let your garden dry out between waterings. An easy way to tell if your garden needs water is to stick your pointer finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water. If you feel moisture, give it another day and check again. Plants don’t like wet feet and soil that is always moist causes root rot, fungus issues, and is a homing beacon for pests and disease.

  • Tip 3: Rainwater is best, but don’t count on it. Tender vegetable and flower plants wilt quickly if they run out of water on a hot day. If they need water, go ahead and water them even if there’s a chance of rain in the forecast. This goes double for newly planted seedlings. If you water and then it rains, great! Your plants just got a nice long bubble bath. Simply skip watering for a few days to let the soil dry out.

  • Tip 4: A gentle watering is best. Dirt that splashes up onto your plants spreads soil-borne diseases. Water with a steady, gentle stream to prevent this!

  • Tip 5: Grab a pie dish! Your garden should receive at least an inch of water per week and more if it’s over 90F. To see how long it takes to give your garden an inch of water, grab a pie dish and set it on the ground. Using the same hose or sprinkler that you use to water your garden, set a stopwatch, and water over the dish until you’ve reached an inch. Stop your timer and that’s how long you need to water your garden! If temps are over 90, you will need to water at least one inch 2-3 times a week. Remember to keep Tip 2 in mind.

If you notice your plants don’t seem to be growing or the leaves are turning yellow, these could be signs of too little or too much water. By following the simple tips above, you’ll master the rhythm of watering in no time!

The cutting garden in full, gorgeous bloom! If you have a large row-style garden, a drip tape water system is a big time and water saver. Drip systems can be purchased from Amazon or suppliers like DripWorks.

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