Watering your vegetable garden might not seem complicated, but if it’s not done properly it can mean the difference between healthy plants and diseased weak plants!
Watering Your Vegetable Garden For Healthy Plants!
When it comes to growing a garden, watering the garden isn’t something that most people give a lot of thought.
But did you know that this simple step could make or break your garden?!
Did you know that how often you water your vegetable garden can determine how strong or weak your plants are?!
Or that the way you actually water can cause your plants to be diseased?!
It’s true! Something as simple as watering your garden can be the difference between a bountiful harvest, and a sad dying garden!
But, don’t stress!
These vegetable gardening tips for beginners (or refresher tips for everyone else;) will help you to know exactly when, how and why to water your garden!
How Often To Water Your Vegetable Garden
How often you water your vegetable garden depends on where you live and the climate you live in.
The general recommendation is 1-2 inches per week.
Because I live in the very hot climate of south Florida, I have to give mine closer to 2 inches. It gets very hot here!
Now, this includes rain fall. So it doesn’t mean that you have to water your garden. If it rains a lot, then you might not have to water at all.
For any plants I have that grow in the summer, I don’t always have to water very much. Because it rains daily here in the summer, it’s easier.
However, in my winter garden (yes in Florida we also get to grow in the winter:), I have to water more myself because we don’t get much rainfall in the winter here.
You are also better off giving your plants more water less often. For example, instead of watering a little bit each day, you will have healthier plants if you only water 2-3 times a week but give them more water each time.
By giving your plants more water you ensure that water is making it deep enough into the soil to reach the roots; and by watering less frequently you are encouraging the roots to search and reach for water.
This will help the root system to become bigger and stronger.
Best Time of Day To Water Garden
When to water your vegetable garden is also important!
The best times for watering your vegetable garden would be in the morning or the evening.
Because it isn’t as hot at these times it allows more water to reach the plant’s roots instead of evaporating under the hot sun.
I prefer to water in the morning. The next tip will explain why:).
What should you do however, if your plants are wilting during the heat of the day?
If you water your plants in the morning and then by noon they are weeping and looking sad, just wait. If by 5:00 they are still looking wilted, then give them more water.
This also will help the root system to become stronger and bigger as they search for water.
Do not overwater your plants!
Overwatering plants can lead to fungal problems in plants! You do not want your plants sitting in too much water.
Best Garden Soil For Retaining Moisture
The soil in your garden will also determine how much and how often to water your garden.
If your soil is very sandy, then you will need to water your plants more often. Sand does not retain water, so your plants will become dry faster.
If you are looking for the best soil for your raised garden beds, or to add to your garden, then read my post The Best Seed Starting Mix.
This soil mix contains ingredients that are excellent for retaining moisture!
Also, use mulch in the garden.
Mulch helps to shade the soil from the sun, which will help with moisture retention as well.
Mulch can also be great for retaining water.
How To Water A Garden
Here are some additional tips for watering your vegetable garden.
When I water my plants I water them until there is a little water standing around the plant.
No this does not mean that my plants are sitting in a lake! When I say a little water standing I mean that you can see water in the small dips in the soil.
This amount of water should absorb pretty quickly but should also be enough water to reach down to root level.
If you aren’t sure how deep your water is going, dig down in the soil near your plant and see how deep you go before the soil is dry. Is the soil damp at root level? Is it dry? This will help you to know how much to water your vegetable garden.
Also, do not water your plants like a sprinkler does! This means do not spray all the vegetable plants and their leaves.
When watering a vegetable garden you should water at the base of the plant. The water absorbs through the roots, so watering the leaves is unnecessary.
Also, watering the plant’s leaves will encourage disease to spread in your garden. So water your vegetable plants at the base of the plant.
I hope this post helps you to know how to water a garden!
Have you grown a vegetable garden before? Which vegetables are you growing in your garden?
I hope you have a successful gardening season and a bountiful harvest!
Happy vegetable gardening!