Plants like dew drops, drops will do.
During this extremely dry summer we all have had to water our plants. This is a time consuming job and, if done improperly, a waste of water. Following are some tips that can help not only save you time and water but will make what you do more effective.
In other posts I have encouraged putting water in the hole as you plant out your annuals and vegetables. When this is done the plants will not wilt and they will not need water for three days at least. The amount of water needed to sustain a new plant for this long, if done this way, is about a cup per plant (likely less). IF we watered these gardens AFTER planting it would take more water than I can imagine and hours of time. A guess at 10 gallons per plant during this transplant stage is not unreasonable. There are several reasons for this.
- The soil is not compacted and much of the water is working at bringing the soil back to its naturally healthy state. (by putting water in the hole when planting the soil is compacted properly when hole is filled)
- The water is being applied to the whole of the garden instead of the plants in need.
- The water is evaporating off the leaves and the top of the dirt
- The water is running off and not soaking in.
- Enough water, over the whole garden, has to be applied to soak the soil at least 3 inches. (THIS IS A LOT OF WATER)
There are other methods of doing what I am suggesting. The main point is to get water slowly to the plant so it soaks in over time. One method is to fill a two litre plastic pop bottle and turn it upside down in the dirt by the plant. I have never tried this and do not know how long the bottle stays filled or how often this needs to be done. If you use this method or have another idea please engage in the comment section where you have seen this post. The idea of course must conserve water.
What I do is turn the hose on until it barely drips. (hardly noticeable) Place the hose at the base of a tomato or your favourite shrub/flower and leave it there for a couple of hours. (overnight with grapes and shrubs) I set mine so slow that IF I forget it does no harm. Setting the hose at a fine dribble, slow enough that there is no run-off, is appropriate but only if you are there monitoring. It does not take long. There is no water wasted and I have to schedule watering less as I end up with more than enough water for each plant to do well for several days.