When it comes to maintaining your garden, one of the most common questions that arises is: Should a garden be watered everyday? There are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to watering your plants, and several factors can play a crucial role in deciding how often to water.
Below we’ll discuss all the factors that go into deciding if your garden should be watered daily. And whether you’re watering daily or less, you’ll want to invest in a retractable garden hose to make your life easier (we consider it one of several must-have garden tools).
Should a garden be watered every day? Here’s how to tell.
Check the soil
The first and most important factor in deciding the water cycle of your garden is the Soil. You can even check if the solid needs a watering session. If it’s soggy to the touch, your garden doesn’t require water just yet. However, if the soil is almost dry and cracky, it needs a drink. Just make sure you don’t let the soil dry out completely before watering it as this will do more harm than good.
Another factor is checking the type of soil. Sandy soil holds very little water compared to clay soil, and it also dries out faster. Clay soil is heavy comparatively, which means it retains moisture for longer.
Climate & weather conditions
How often you water your garden may also depend on the topography of the place you live in. If you’re in an area with hot, dry and sunny weather, you need to water your garden more frequently, even daily, to avoid dry soil.
If you live in an area with cold and frosty weather with frequent rains, you can likely cut back to watering once or twice a week. You have to keep in mind that the soil determines whether it needs to be watered or not, so always check it beforehand.
Know your plants’ needs
You should know the plants and their need before deciding a strict watering schedule for them. The type of plants you are growing can heavily influence how you should water the rest of the garden. For example, if you’re growing any rainforest plants that require high volumes of water, you need water them every day.
Larger plants require more water compared to smaller ones. For instance, a cucumber vine manages less water than an oak tree, which requires an enormous amount of water. Also, plants that have shallow root systems such as vegetables and some fruits often require daily watering, especially if you are living in warmer climates.
Also note that you have to provide extra care for potted plants. Particularly if their pots lack drainage holes, be careful to never overwater them. It can create a pool at the bottom of the pot which can cause the soil to loosen and roots to rot. Before watering, try poking your finger in to check the soil condition below.
Follow the sun
Sun plays a massive part in deciding when to water your garden. The amount of light your garden gets is arguably the most important factor in deciding the watering cycle. Plants need light to grow and flourish in any condition.
If you allow too much light into your garden, then the petals and soil begin to dry out. The colors will start to fade, and the entire plant will be malnourished. When observing your garden, look out for these signs and considering plant trees or shrubs to help lend shade.
To tackle the issue of excessive sun, in-depth watering sessions encourage more extensive and stronger root growth. A general rule is to water your garden about 2 inches once a week. Anything more than that can lead to shallower and weaker root growth due to evaporation.
However, gardens vary widely in their sunlight needs. For example, young and immature seedlings have a very restricted root system. To ensure they’re getting the dampness they need to thrive, they may need to be watered daily, at least.
Plants with more extensive and faster-growing root systems, such as established vines and shrub, need much less water. You may only need to water them during extended dry spells, such as during the summer.
Consider the time of day you water
The best time to water your plants is early in the morning. It’s still cool outside, which lets the water reach the plant roots before it is lost in evaporation.
However, daily schedules can make early morning watering difficult, so the next best time is early evening. As with early morning, it’s cooler which means water doesn’t evaporate as quickly and plants get what they need.
Common misconceptions about watering
Here are some common misconceptions you may have about watering your garden, and why they’re not necessarily accurate.
The 1-inch per week rule
Although the “inch-a-week” is cited as a rule of thumb, the actual truth is that plants vary extensively in their climate requirements and watering needs. As we explained above, young seedlings and fresh transplants have very limited root systems and need regular watering sessions, so they may need daily watering if the weather is sunny and hot.
All plants require the same amount of water
Established mainly for small trees and shrubs, you may need additional watering only during hot summer spells because it has more extensive root systems. The amount of water a plant needs depends on a number of factors, including the type of plant, its stage of growth, type of soil, weather, and time of year.
Sprinklers are the best way to water
Although sprinklers are convenient, it’s usually best to apply water directly to the soil around plants rather than watering with a sprinkler. Less water is lost to evaporation, especially on hot, sunny days. Foliage also stays drier, minimizing disease and rot issues.
Time to get gardening!
So those are the factors you need to keep in mind before watering your garden and plants. We hope this helps answer your question, “Should a garden be watered every day?” Now that you know how to determine your watering schedule, you’re ready to start helping your local environment by planting your garden. Make sure you have all the must-have garden tools, and learn how to clean garden tools properly. Soon you’ll be in love with gardening and then you might want to upgrade your gardening equipment, so read our roundups of the best garden scooters and best retractable garden hoses.