Watering Tips


When watering your garden, consider the following tips to ensure that your plants are watered effectively, but without wastage.

  • Before watering, try to take into account the amount of rain that has fallen in the preceding week. Leave out a measuring container in the garden to help you keep an eye on the amount of water that your plants and lawn have already received.
  • Try to water plants deeply and thoroughly rather than little and often. This will help them to develop healthy, deep root systems.
  • Water early in the morning or in the evening to reduce the risk of evaporation and scorching of leaves from the sun.
  • Water slowly to avoid run-off and to make sure that the soil absorbs the water.
  • Water on calm days to prevent wind drift and evaporation.
  • Use a watering can to target the specific areas of the plant that needs water. In general, this will be the area of soil around the roots.
  • Improve the structure of your soil by adding an organic mulch such as compost, manure or leaf-mould. This will also increase its moisture-retaining qualities.
  • Conserve rain water by having at least one water butt to catch the run-off from gutters and roofs. Most tap water is fairly alkaline and so rain water is often better for plants - especially acid lovers.

The first European garden hose appeared in 1672 in Amsterdam, made of leather.

  • When watering tender plants, try to use water from a rain barrel; the temperature will be similar to that of the soil so less of a shock than water from the main supply.
  • Did you know that a sprinkler run for an hour uses as much water (about 500 litres) as a family uses in two days? Make sure that you prevent wastage by adjusting the sprinkler so that it avoids watering hard surfaces such as driveways and patios.
  • Try to select an efficient irrigation system. Drip or trickle systems are highly efficient as they deliver water directly and slowly to the roots under the soil surface. This promotes deeper roots, which improves the plant's resiliency to drought. A soaker hose placed at the base of plants on the ground applies water to the soil where it is needed - rather than to the leaves - and reduces evaporation. If you use a sprinkler, choose one that sprays close to the ground and fit it with a timer.