Growing Guides

Watering Guide


Too much (or too little) of a good thing:

Well, it’s not rocket science, no, but get it wrong and it is an easy way to kill your plants. 

Good general advice is that your garden should receive about two inches of water per week and that this watering should come in the form of one or two good soaks rather than more frequent but less deep sprinklings. However, based on your climate, soil type and plants, you will probably need to tailor this advice. 

Know your soil and know your plants.


Best practices: 

Well, it’s not rocket science, no, but get it wrong and it is an easy way to kill your plants. 

Here is some universally helpful tips:

  • Water the ground, not the plants. The roots of your plants need water, not their leaves. When you water your plants from above and thus soak the foliage along with the soil, you create the perfect conditions for fungal diseases to take hold. To avoid this, adjust your watering technique. Use a long hose attachment or a watering can with a long neck to reach down to the soil surface. Alternatively, you can instal an irrigation system that will deliver water right to the soil with less effort from you.
  • Water in the morning. Watering in the middle of the day means that much of the water that you put down will be lost to evaporation before it can be taken up by the soil or your plants. Watering in the evening avoids evaporation but it does not give your plant’s foliage a chance to dry out before going into the cool dark night, once again encouraging fungal diseases to develop.
  • Water thoroughly, water infrequently. This encourages your plants to develop deeper, stronger, healthier roots. However, this last tip is actually not quite universal. Some plants that have naturally shallow roots like onions and garlic benefit from shallower more frequent waterings. 

Irrigation systems:

If you feel like you are spending the growing season attached to a garden hose, you should consider installing an irrigation system.  These systems are a must for gardeners who are short on time and/or have sprawling borders or garden beds. There are three largely available systems: 


These are ideal for lawns but not much more. Because they spray water in the air rather than deliver it to the soil, we don’t recommend them for gardens. 

Soaker hoses: 

This is likely the simplest and least expensive system to instal. It consists of porous hoses that, once snaked through boarders or down garden rows, leak water out into your soil. Add a timer to your set up and your garden will essentially water itself. 

One downside of this system is that there is a limit to how far you can run the hoses. After about 100 feet, there isn’t sufficient water pressure at the end of the hose. This results in an uneven distribution of water. 

Drip irrigation:

Once you instal one of these systems, you know you are in the big-leagues. This is the system that most larger scale cut flower and produce producers use. 

While this system may seem complex, it is actually not too much more difficult or expensive to instal than a soaker hose system. 

More precise which makes them more efficient in evenly spaced vegetable gardens but less suited for fuller garden borders or beds. Another benefit is that it provides more flexibility than soaker hose systems. You can control how much water is going to different parts of your garden.




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