10 secrets for proper watering and healthy plants
What do we pay attention to when watering the plants and what is the most effective way for better watering?
All plants need water to stay healthy. They can live without water for a short time, which is why watering is perhaps the most important cultivation care for flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees and shrubs. Although watering seems like a relatively easy process, most of us are unaware of making specific basic mistakes when watering plants.
Excessive watering, as well as insufficient watering constitute, can create significant problems in plant growth.
In today’s article we will talk about the secrets for proper watering with useful tips on how to water, the right time and frequency of watering, to make healthy green plants, with vigorous growth, intense flowering and rich production.
What happens to our plants when they are not watered properly?
Improper watering is one of the most common causes of plant problems, either due to insufficient or excessive watering.
Plants suffer when they do not have enough water to absorb from the root, they show reduced growth, drying of leaves or gradual fall of leaves and flowers, as well as reduced fruiting.
Respectively, excessive watering can cause symptoms such as root rot, yellowing of leaves, falling leaves and flowers, as well as conditions for the development of diseases.
What is the right time to water the plants?
Watering is very important to be done at the right times. In any case, we avoid watering our garden at noon, due to large losses in water and possible development of diseases.
We prefer to water early in the morning, as in the morning the plants are adequately watered and we have a small chance of developing fungal diseases. The second option is to water at dusk, as in the evening we do not have water losses from evaporation.
Last option is to water our plants at night, although in this case there is a risk of developing fungal diseases due to excessive soil moisture.
How often do we water our garden plants?
The frequency of watering the plants depends on many factors, such as the type of plants, their stage of development, the type of soil and the prevailing climatic conditions. For example, horticultural and ornamental shrubs require more water than succulents and cacti.
A plant that we keep in a pot has higher needs for water compared to the same plant that when planted in the ground.
Dry sandy soils retain less water and need more frequent watering than heavy clay soils.
In summer, due to high temperatures, plants need more water than in spring, autumn and winter. When winds prevail, the soil dries faster and needs watering at more regular intervals.
How much do we water our plants depending on the stage of growth?
Our plants have different water needs depending on the stage of development they are in. We do different watering when we plant seeds, when we transplant, when the plants are in the flowering phase or during their fruiting. Let’s see in detail the needs of plants for watering depending on their stage of development. How much watering do the seeds need when planting?
When planting seeds, the soil needs relative moisture for the seeds to germinate. We prefer the gentle daily watering that keeps the soil slightly wet, so that the seeds we planted will gradually germinate. We avoid excessive moisture because it can cause rot in the roots of the plants.
- How do we water the plants when we transplant them?
When transplanting plants in the garden or in a pot, you need a good watering to evenly develop moisture around the root system. We prefer to do a good watering every 2-3 days to get the water deeper than to water a little superficially on a daily basis. In this way, we prevent our plants from developing a superficial root system and acquire deeper roots resulting in better and stronger growth.
- How do we water the plants during flowering and when they bear fruit?
Many people tend to leave their plants during the flowering period to have a larger flower formation. This stress on the plants often leads to the fall of the flowers and the exhaustion of the plants.
During the period of flowering and fruiting, the plants need relative watering, avoiding excessive moisture that can cause flowering and problematic fruiting in the plants.
- What watering do we do to plants when they have fruits?
Vegetables and fruit trees have increased water needs during the fruiting period when the fruits are growing. We need constant and frequent watering with enough water to have increased production and formation of good quality fruits.
It should be noted that irregular watering can cause various problems in the fruit such as the dry top of the tomato which causes tanning of the fruit and cracking of the pomegranate fruit.
Is it good to wet the foliage of the plants with watering?
As a general rule, we avoid wetting the foliage of plants during watering, especially at noon, because we have losses in water due to evaporation, while at the same time burns can occur on the foliage or the development of various fungal diseases.
There are, of course, exceptions such as indoor plants or ornamental plants such as gardenia and camellia that want a cool environment, when they are in hot conditions and high temperatures it is good to wet their foliage at dusk.
How do we improve the efficiency of watering?
We can improve irrigation efficiency and save water by increasing the water retention capacity.
Improving soil water retention is done by properly preparing the soil before planting, adding various soil improvers. In particular, manure and compost help increase moisture, while enriching the soil with organic matter and nutrients. In addition, we can add zeolite, perlite attapulgite, which are natural minerals that have the same to retain a significant amount of moisture, helping to better absorb water from our plants.
Is it right to water the plants with a hose?
Although it is very common to water the plants with rubber, it is not the best choice for watering. When we water with a hose, many times some plants receive more water than they should or we can leave some others undisturbed, as well as we have large water losses due to evaporation.
Also, when we water with rubber, there is a risk that diseases will develop in the plants from infections that are in the soil and will be thrown into the foliage of the plants with water.
It is worth mentioning that due to the large surface in the soil that is wetted during watering, we have a large growth of unwanted weeds (weeds) that grow among our plants.
What is the best way to water our plants?
Drip irrigation is the most suitable for the garden as it has the most advantages.
In the drip irrigation system, we have small water losses due to evaporation. We ensure a significant reduction of unwanted grasses (weeds) due to the small area of soil that is wet around the plants. It can be applied on sloping soils, as well as on soils that have high drainage.
It can operate with small water supplies, as well as at low pressures, during the night.
With the drip irrigation system, we perform cultivation work during the irrigation, as well as carry out effective water-soluble fertilization through the irrigation water.
It should be noted that with the drip irrigation system, we do not have wetting of the foliage of garden plants and thus reduces the risk of developing fungal diseases.
What are the advantages of automatic watering in the garden and on the balcony?
Installing automatic watering with a garden programmer helps save time, as we can be absent without worrying about our plants and how they will survive.
Also, with the automatic watering system, we water our plants as much as they really need, even during the most difficult periods of summer drought, while at the same time we save on the water we use for watering.
We can even schedule our plants to be watered at specific times when water supply is more available from the water supply system in the area.
And one last secret for watering
It is important to water our plants with good quality water without high salt content as various toxicities can occur in them.
Irrigation with poor quality water can cause drying and yellowing of the leaves, cachectic growth, reduced flowering and reduced fruit production.